SEOUL: South Korea says it plans to allow social gatherings of up to six people and allow restaurants and cafes to operate until midnight in the densely populated Seoul area, starting from July 1.
Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said Sunday the eased distancing rules are aimed at “finding a balance between quarantine and (effort to) return to normal amid the prolonged Covid19 pandemic.” After a two-week transition period, health authorities plan to allow gatherings of eight people in the Seoul area from July 15. Currently, authorities allow gatherings of up to four people and permit restaurants, cafes and other businesses to operate until 10 p.m.
Restrictions on the number of people at private gatherings in the non-Seoul area will be lifted.
Kwon says about 30% of South Korea’s 52 million people have received their first dose of coronavirus vaccines. He says South Korea reported an average of 444 new virus cases each day last week, a 15% decrease from the previous week.