Some Social-Distancing Rules Eased

      April 20, 2020 11:06

      The government has extended social distancing until May 5 with some easing of rules for public facilities and businesses.

      In a meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said that the government would extend social distancing in principle for another two weeks rather than permit a return to normal life as planned as it is still necessary to be cautious.

      The lockdown has now gone on since March 22.

      Officials meet at the government complex in Seoul on Sunday.

      This allows religious and indoor sports facilities, bars and other entertainment establishments and after-school crammers to reopen as long as they make sure to comply with quarantine guidelines.

      Low-risk public outdoor facilities like camping grounds can also reopen, and sporting fixtures will be allowed as long as there are no spectators.

      Essential qualification tests and recruitment exams can also go ahead if quarantine guidelines are strictly complied with.

      Chung asked the Education Ministry to gather public opinion and discuss preparing for the reopening of schools.

      Only eight new infections were confirmed on Saturday, the first single-digit increase in the 61 days since the virus started to spread rapidly among the Shincheonji sect in Daegu on Feb. 18. But on Sunday 13 cases were found, bringing the total to 10,674.

      Jeong Eun-kyeong, the chief of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters, "Many experts believe that the virus impact will ebb and flow until a vaccine is developed." 

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