When the social distancing level 2.5 was imposed throughout the capital region, people flocked to the parks along the Han River where they could still hang out.
The number of visitors in the first week of September increased by almost 40 percent compared to the same period last year, rising especially on the weekend.
That has prompted the city to close some of the most crowded areas of the three most popular parks those are at Yeouido, Ttukseom and Banpo.
The restrictions apply to the picnic areas and plazas where people tend to gather.

“The picnic area behind me is often packed with people sitting and eating food.
But with the latest restrictions, warning tape has been put up to stop people from going on the grass.”

The convenience stores, snack bars and cafes at river parks will have to close everyday at 9 PM.

“Banpo Park will ask people to refrain from eating, drinking and exercising after 9 PM. Park officials will also be there reminding people to stay two meters apart from each other and to wear their masks.”

The river parks have become a concern because someone went to a convenience store at Ttukseom park last week without a mask on and was later confirmed to have the virus.

Seoul residents say they support the measures, though there are inconveniences they have to endure.

“With the stricter social distancing, parks were kind of the only getaway we could enjoy. With these new restrictions, I don’t know where I can go to get some fresh air. But if it makes quarantine more effective, then I’ll stay home until the pandemic is finally under control.”

The city will also close the parking lots at 11 of the parks from 9 PM to 2 AM.
The measures are expected to last until this Sunday but could be extended if case numbers don’t come down.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.

Reporter : jychoi@arirang.com

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