Online classes and restrictions in Seoul as cases rise

Seoul, Sep 4 (efe-epa).- South Korean authorities on Friday extended online classes in the Seoul region and time restrictions on shops amid rising Covid-19 infections.

The government extended measures until 20 September in the capital region, mainly affecting schools and businesses.

It came after a continued growth of coronavirus cases in Seoul and its surrounding area, where several outbreaks have seen the largest number of new infections in recent weeks in South Korea.

The education ministry has ordered kindergartens and schools in Seoul, Incheon and the surrounding Gyeonggi province to continue with distanced lessons for at least another two weeks.

This will not affect students in their final year of high school, who will be able to attend classes under a limited-capacity rotation system as they are preparing for crucial university entrance exams scheduled for early December.

In the rest of the country, schools will continue with a mixed system that combines classroom and remote teaching, which has been in place since May, with classroom attendance limited to a third of pupils.

South Korean authorities have also extended restrictions on the opening hours of cafes and restaurants in the capital region until 20 September.

Eateries in the Seoul region are only allowed to open until 9 pm and can only sell take-away products from that time until 5 am, which also affects the majority of bars as they usually operate under a restaurant license in the country.

The extended measures are part of a so-called social distancing level 2.5 which is one level higher than those imposed on the rest of the country since mid-August.

The number of new daily infections has been in triple figures in South Korea since 14 August.

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