Small-Business Owners Defy Lockdown

      January 06, 2021 13:20

      Desperate small entrepreneurs are opening their stores in defiance of lockdown rules after a year of patience with the restraints.

      They are rebelling against the government as they believe they have been made to bear the brunt of economic difficulties caused by lockdown while the government frittered away valuable time it could have used to secure vaccines.

      Many gyms were open in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and Busan on the second day of the fresh lockdown on Tuesday. About 300 gyms throughout the country opened and admitted customers on Monday, while some 700 others did not admit patrons but stayed open with their lights on as a sign of protest.

      Protesters in prisoner-style boiler suits take part in a rally against lockdown in Seoul on Tuesday.

      Nightclubs and bars that closed since Dec. 24 are also taking collective action. About 700 nightclubs and bars in Gwangju agreed to turn their lights on in protest between 7 and 10 p.m. from Tuesday, though they will not really be open for business.

      Owners of pubs and cafés on Tuesday filed a petition with the Constitutional Court against the government, which they argue violated their fundamental rights and failed to compensate for the loss they had suffered due to lockdown.

      An association of coffee-shop and cafe owners will rally near the Ministry of Health and Welfare in the administrative city of Sejong on Thursday to urge the ministry to lift restrictions on their business.

      Meanwhile, Korea reported 840 new coronavirus infections as of Wednesday Morning, below 1,000 for the second day in a row.

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