South Korea generally allows local governments to independently decide their distancing levels, based on their respective COVID-19 situation.

But with the fourth wave now spreading NATIONWIDE, authorities have decided to expand the ban on gatherings of 5 or more people, to the whole of the country.

Up until now, it had only been applied to the capital region, as it is issued under distancing level 3 or 4, in the country’s NEW four-tier system.
But for the next two weeks, it’s being applied regardless of individual regions’ distancing levels, as authorities try to contain rising cases.

“We discussed with local governments over the unilateral application of the rule, amid increased cross-border travel during the summer vacation. And they agreed to apply the common rule.”

The measure will last until August 1st.
But unlike the capital area,which limits gatherings to up to only 2 after 6 PM,other regions will stick to the 5-person-ban throughout the evening and night.
And they will also allow exceptions to this rule,
including gatherings with immediate family members.
Also a baby’s first-birthday party where up to 16 people are allowed.
And the formal meeting of families ahead of a couple’s marriage, where 8 people will be allowed.
Plus, vaccinated people will be excluded from the headcount should the local government allow it.

Separate from this rule the two most popular summer destinations, have raised their distancing levels.
Jeju-do Island raised theirs from Level 2 to Level 3,..under which,those exceptions to the gathering rules will not be applied.
And the Gangneung city in Gangwon-do Province raised theirs to the highest level 4,
which is currently in place for the greater Seoul area.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.

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