The enhanced measures were due to expire this Sunday.
But with 198 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Friday, health authorities made the decision to extend the tightened quarantine rules in the capital area until September 13th.
However, ‘Level Two’ guidelines will be maintained for other regions until September 20th.
“In order to have better control of the virus prevention system, and to have a sufficient treatment network, it is necessary to extend social distancing guidelines until we see a decreasing number of newly confirmed cases.
The announcement came as more than 20 percent of all patients confirmed over the last two weeks have been asymptomatic and have spread the virus unknowingly.
Concerns also grow as the nation continues to see an increasing number of patients in critical condition and without enough hospital beds to treat them.
To help regain control over the virus, the heightened measures mean that restaurants and bars in the capital must continue to close by 9 PMand franchise coffee shops will only be able to offer take-out or delivery services.
The health authorities added franchise bakeries and ice cream shops to the list of ‘take-out or delivery-only’ businesses.
This is due to a so-called ‘balloon effect’ where customers are moving to franchise bakeries and ice cream shops as their ‘Option B.’
Such establishments will also be restricted from allowing customers to dine in until the new September 13th deadline.
In addition, indoor facilities like fitness centers and private tuition academies will also remain shut during this period.
With millions of people expected to travel throughout the country during the upcoming Chuseok holiday, the government’s goal is to ensure that there isn’t another sudden surge in cases of COVID-19.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.