South Korea relaxes restrictions as vaccination rate rises

Seoul, Oct 15 (EFE).- South Korea announced Friday it would relax restrictions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus due to vaccination increasing and infection rates stabilizing.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said meetings of up to eight people would be allowed in the capital region (where more than half of 51 million South Koreans live) from Monday after 6 p.m. so long as at least four of those people have been completely vaccinated.

Gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed after 6:00 p.m. in the rest of the country, if at least six of them are fully vaccinated.

Until now, authorities have allowed up to six people to gather in the region around Seoul and a maximum of eight to gather in the rest of the country.

Kim also said sports venues will be able to welcome spectators again from Monday, although occupancy cannot exceed 30 percent.

For the moment, time restrictions will be maintained for hospitality establishments, which must close at 10 p.m. countrywide.

The measures are the beginning of a system the government calls “coexistence with the virus” and responds to the advance of vaccinations (62.5 percent of the population has the complete dose and 78.4 percent at least one) and stabilization of daily infections, which have remained below 2,000 in the last week.

South Korea has been one of the countries to best control the spread of the virus (totaling some 39,000 infections and 2,626 deaths since the start of the pandemic).

However, the greater circulation of the delta variant and the shortage in the global supply of vaccines have led the country to register more than 1,000 cases a day since July, after which restrictions were tightened. EFE


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