September 29, 2021 10:06
The government is gradually coming round to finding ways of living with endemic coronavirus.
President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday told a Cabinet meeting that Korea can "no longer put off returning to normal in stages" as small businesses run out of options.
Health and Welfare Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said at an event hosted by the Korea Broadcasting Journalists Club that the government expects to shift to living with COVID-19 in early November. He added it is considering issuing "vaccine passports" that allow fully inoculated people to use entertainment venues and other indoor facilities.
"Allowing for a two-week interval when the effects of vaccine-induced immunity start to appear once more than 90 percent of senior citizens and 80 percent of adults are vaccinated, we are considering a return to normal in stages starting in early November."
"Social-distancing rules for private gatherings and at indoor facilities for fully vaccinated people could then be eased."
The government is expected to stop announcing daily infection figures once the phased return to normal life begins. "We need to adopt a new quarantine method focusing on serious cases and fatalities instead of the number of infections and are listening to the opinions of health experts," Kwon said.
As of Wednesday morning, the daily tally of new coronavirus infections stood at 2,883, while death rose by 10 to 2,474.
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