Go to contents

Department stores, SSMs to do away with QR code check-in

Department stores, SSMs to do away with QR code check-in

Posted February. 19, 2022 07:26,   

Updated February. 19, 2022 07:26


Department stores and super supermarkets (SSMs), which do not apply the country’s vaccine pass program, will not require QR code check-in from Saturday. The mandatory closing time for restaurants and cafes will be extended to 10 p.m. for three weeks until March 13. The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters on Friday announced a new set of social distancing guidelines including such changes.

Health authorities mandated QR code or safety call check-in system when entering multi-use facilities in order to track the spread of COVID-19. However, since epidemiological investigation was practically stopped after the spread of the Omicron variant, they decided to withdraw the check-in system.

However, it does not mean a complete removal of QR code check-in. Eleven types of facilities, including restaurants, cafes, karaokes and public baths, where vaccine pass is still required, mandate visitors to show data proving that they are fully vaccinated. Aside from the frequently used QR code check-in, visitors can use COOV app on their smartphone or a paper certificate.

Some point out that the government’s new guidelines do not satisfy both small business owners and the medical community. The government initially planned to raise the private gathering size to eight but decided not to as the country’s daily COVID-19 cases surpassed 100,000 recently, and just extended the mandatory closing time. Health experts are concerned that the government’s decision may encourage people to let their guard down against COVID-19 and exacerbate the COVID-19 crisis.

“We are the only country in the world that is loosening the social distancing rules when the outbreak is reaching its peak,” said Kim Woo-joo, a professor of Department of Infectious Diseases at Korea University Guro Hospital, criticizing the government’s policy.

ksy@donga.com · noel@donga.com