April 09, 2020 13:08
All bars in Seoul have been ordered closed for the next 12 days since Wednesday. The Seoul Metropolitan Government made the snap decision because a hostess in a large bar in upscale Gangnam came in contact with some 100 people after she was infected with coronavirus.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon announced the ban in a press briefing Wednesday. It is effective till April 29, the provisional last day of strict social distancing.
On Tuesday, the hostess, who worked in a bar in Yeoksam-dong, tested positive for the virus, and according to the city government she had been in contact with a total of 118 people, including other hostesses, waiters, customers, and her roommate.
Unless bars are ordered shut, "It's virtually impossible for anyone to comply with quarantine guidelines, since there is almost always close contact in such places," Park said.
A total of 422 bars and nightclubs were still open across Seoul on Tuesday, according to the city government. The city checked up on 2,146 bars and nightclubs and told them to suspend business temporarily, but only 80 percent complied.
The city government is going to file complaints with police if any bar or nightclub opens regardless. Violators face a fine of up to W3 million (US$1=W1,222).
The city is also planning to file claims for any quarantine costs if infections occur because they disobey the order.
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