In the early morning as Seoulites head to work, city officials and volunteers are standing with signs telling people they have to wear masks.
Starting Friday, people not wearing one when they’re required to will face a fine of 100-thousand won, or about 90 U.S. dollars.
That’s if they’re caught without a mask and refuse to put one on when told to.
Inside the subway station, city officials are not only making sure everyone is wearing a mask properly, they’re also giving out free masks and flyers that explain the guidelines.

“We decided to implement the fine to alert people not wearing masks. The purpose of this crackdown is not just to fine them, but help to protect everyone until we’re all wearing masks voluntarily.”

In principle, you have to wear a mask anywhere you can’t keep a distance of at least two meters from others.
They’re required at all times on public transportation, and at around two dozen types of facilities such as bars, singing rooms and PC rooms, as well as at hospitals and at any gathering of more than 5-hundred people.
It has to be an actual mask and not a handkerchief or scarf.

“Health authorities say children under 14 and those with medical conditions will not be subject to penalties. On top of that, there are also other exceptional circumstances.”

You’re required to wear a mask at coffee shops and restaurants when ordering, waiting, and paying for your food, but you don’t need to wear one when you’re eating and drinking.
You can take off your mask when smoking at designated spots, but smoking elsewhere could result in a fine.
At public baths and swimming pools, masks are required when you’re NOT in the water.
At weddings, you have to wear a mask at all times unless you’re the bride, groom or one of the parents.
And for outdoor activities like hiking and biking, there’s no need for a mask if you can keep two meters apart.
However, you need to wear one if you’re part of a gathering with more than 500 people
A city official said the areas subject to monitoring could be expanded if the social distancing level goes up.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.

Reporter : peterwjchoi@gmail.com

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