Lockdown to Be Extended for 2 More Weeks

  • By Lee Yong-soo

    December 30, 2021 12:36

    The government is likely to extend the current lockdown that was billed as a two-week circuit breaker for at least another two weeks.

    That means a ban on any gatherings of more than four fully vaccinated people and a 9 p.m. curfew for restaurants and coffee shops will continue indefinitely due to the government's failure to secure enough ICU beds for people who become severely ill while infection numbers remain high.

    The decision will be announced on Friday.

    A banner on a restaurant in Daejeon informs customers of new opening hours on Dec. 18.

    Minjoo Party spokeswoman Shin Hyun-young told reporters, "More time is expected to be needed before the situation gets better with ICU beds, severe cases and fatality numbers."

    "But we urged the government to consider minor adjustments to accommodate businesses that are expected to suffer massive damage," she added. This could include lifting the curfew for restaurants and coffee shops.

    The spokeswoman hinted that lawmakers are also getting restless, saying they demanded more aid for affected businesses, including 100 percent compensation for decreased revenues.

    The MP also stressed the need to expand government spending on more COVID-19 treatment pills, a potential fourth round of vaccine injections and more ICU beds.

    As of Thursday morning, the daily tally of new infections stood at 5,037 with 1,145 severe cases and 73 deaths.

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