Gatherings of More Than 5 People Banned as Infections Spike

  • By Kwon Sang-eun, Jung Seok-woo, Park Sang-hyun

    December 22, 2020 09:33

    Gathering of more than five people are banned in the Seoul metropolitan region from Wednesday until Jan. 3 as coronavirus infections spike in the densely populated area.

    Some 26 million residents of the region will be in lockdown over Christmas and the New Year.

    Acting Seoul Mayor Seo Jung-hyup said Monday, "We can't overcome this crisis unless we stem the spread of infections in private gatherings among families, friends and coworkers."

    Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung and Incheon Mayor Park Nam-chun each held their own press conferences and pleaded for the cooperation of the public, saying the measure is "unavoidable."

    People wait in line to get tested for coronavirus at a makeshift facility in Seoul on Monday. /Yonhap

    The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said 70.1 percent of the 926 coronavirus cases that were reported on Monday occurred in the greater Seoul area.

    But weddings and funerals are exceptions and will be allowed with up to 50 people. The central government plans to announce its own lockdown measures on Tuesday that will remain in effect over the festive season.

    Meanwhile, 869 new cases were added to Korea's daily tally of coronavirus infections on Tuesday morning, below 1,000 for a second day after surpassing over 1,000 last week.

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