For more details about the new social distancing measures covering Seoul and its surrounding areas, our Kim Yeon-seung is on the line.
Yeon-seung, talk us through why these measures being implemented?
South Korea on Tuesday reported 230 new COVID-19 cases, 202 of which were locally transmitted. It’s the fourth day in a row that there have been over 200 infections.
Most of those cases are from the densely populated capital area which saw 137 cases on Tuesday.
Now for five straight days, the capital region has been seeing over 100 daily infections, so health authorities are tightening measures in an effort to curb the spread.
And tell us more about the criteria that has to be met for the distancing guidelines to be modified and also what differences we’ll see.
Mark, when health authorities first announced their new five-tier distancing measures system, they said they would tighten measures if the capital region sees a weekly average of over 100 daily cases.
Daily cases in the capital region have already reached that threshold, with this week’s average reaching a little over 110.
In response, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Tuesday morning announced the government’s decision to raise the distancing level for the capital region up a notch to level 1.5.
The government is also considering raising the level to 1.5 in Gangwon-do Province which has seen a spike in cases recently.
The tightened measures for the capital region will start on midnight Thursday.
Under the measures, there will be a stricter limit on the number of people allowed in certain types of facilities.
Wedding halls, funeral homes and saunas can only hold 1 visitor per 4 square meters.
Movie theaters, concert halls and PC rooms should seat their customers one seat apart unless they have a barrier in between people, and amusement parks can only allow in half of their usual customers.
Religious gatherings and sports events can only seat 30-percent of their total capacity.
Schools will go back to having a mandatory attendance cap of two-thirds, and protests and festivals are limited to under 100 people.
That’s all I have for now, but I’ll be back with updates at a later time.
Back to you, Mark