South Korea is extending its strict social distancing measures for the greater Seoul Metropolitan area for one more week until September 13, the country’s Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said in a briefing today.
“The government feels it’s necessary to extend these measures until the new daily numbers visibly drop so that our epidemiological investigation and medical system capacity can handle the situation,” Park explained.
The current restrictions were due to expire this Sunday.
All kindergartens and schools except some high school classes in the greater Seoul Metropolitan area will continue to hold online classes for two more weeks until September 20, the Education Ministry’s Vice Minister Park Baek-beom said in a separate briefing.
All restaurants and bakeries will continue to stop eat-in services between 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, and gyms and indoor sporting facilities will be closed for one more week due to this decision.
The rest of South Korea, where level-two social distancing measures are implemented, will maintain the restrictions for two more weeks from September 9 until September 20, Park said. However, local authorities can adjust the duration of restrictions.
What level-two social distancing means: Indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and outdoor gatherings to 100. Churches nationwide will be strongly advised to hold online services by local authorities, Park added.
South Korea reported 198 new coronavirus cases from Thursday, of which 189 are local cases, and nine are imported, according to the press release by the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) on Friday. South Korea currently has 20,842 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 331 deaths from the virus.