WORLD S.Korea to extend toughest social-distancing rules in capital area for 2 weeks


S.Korea to extend toughest social-distancing rules in capital area for 2 weeks


14:34, July 23, 2021

People queue in line to wait to get coronavirus testing while holding umbrellas provided by the ward office to avoid heat in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (Photo: AP)

SEOUL, July 23 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's health authorities decided Friday to extend the toughest social-distancing rules in the capital area for two more weeks amid the continued resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Level 4 social-distancing guideline, the highest in the country's four-tier quarantine rules, will be kept in place in Seoul, its surrounding Gyeonggi province and the western port city of Incheon for two more weeks until Aug. 8.

It came as the COVID-19 resurgence here showed no signs of moderating. In the latest tally, South Korea reported 1,630 more cases of COVID-19 for the past 24 hours, raising the total number of infections to 185,733.

The daily caseload was down from the record high of 1,842 tallied in the previous day, but it hovered above 1,000 for the 17th consecutive day. The daily average tally for the past week was 1,527.

The recent resurgence was attributed to cluster infections in the greater Seoul area.

Of the new cases, 516 were Seoul residents. The number of people residing in Gyeonggi province and Incheon who tested positive were 403 and 90 respectively.

Under the Level 4 guideline, any private gathering of three or more people is banned after 6:00 p.m. local time in the metropolitan area. Before 6:00 p.m., the gathering of four people is allowed.

Risky entertainment facilities, including night clubs, are prohibited from running business for the two weeks. All the other multi-use facilities, such as restaurant and cafe, are allowed to open until 10:00 p.m.

No event is permitted except a one-person protest, and sports event can be held without spectator.

Students can attend only online classes and companies are recommended to let employees work from home.

In religious facilities, up to 19 people can attend the offline worship services.

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