South Korea to ease social distancing measures in July

Seoul, June 20 (EFE).- South Korea will relax social distancing measures in July to allow larger gatherings and lift restrictions for businesses, the government said Sunday, as the anti-coronavirus vaccination drive gathers pace.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum announced new social distancing rules and said the government would allow gatherings of up to six people in the greater Seoul area from July 1.

The government will raise the number to eight after a two-week transition period under the new anti-covid guidelines, he said in a video recorded by the Yonhap news agency.

There will be no restriction on the number of people in private gatherings outside the capital area from July 1.

The government had restricted gatherings of five or more people to curb the virus outbreak.

The new rules have eased restrictions for companies whose operations were affected by the strict social distancing measures.

Nightclubs, bars, and other entertainment facilities in Seoul will resume operations from next month.

Restaurants, cafes, and gyms will operate until midnight. As per the previous rules, the facilities were allowed to stay open only until 10 pm daily.

The relaxations come as the South Korean vaccination campaign has gained momentum in recent weeks.

As of Sunday, about 15 million people, or more than 29 percent of South Korea’s more than 53 million population, had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

About 4.04 million or nearly 8 percent of the population are fully vaccinated.

The country aims to inoculate some 36 million people by September.

South Korean authorities said they would continue to monitor the virus curve amid concerns about a potential spike in infections in case of an abrupt change in social distancing measures.

South Korea has recorded a total of 151,149 coronavirus infections and 2,002 deaths. EFE


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