Seoul: South Korea decided Friday (May 21) to extend its tightened quarantine measures for three more weeks over the continuing COVID-19 pandemic here, especially in the Seoul metropolitan area.
Under the country`s five-tier social-distancing guidelines, the third-highest Level 2 will be kept in place till June 13 in the capital Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province, with Level 1.5 to be placed in other areas, according to the health authorities.
The ban on any gatherings of five or more people will be maintained across the country for three more weeks.
The toughened social-distancing rules were extended six times since February 15 amid the lingering worry about small cluster infections, especially in the capital area.
In the latest tally, the country reported 561 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, raising the total tally to 134,678.
The daily average caseload for the past week was 614.Of the new cases, 171 were Seoul residents and 161 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.
In the greater Seoul area, the operation of entertainment facilities such as nightclubs is prohibited.
In other regions, local governments are allowed to let the facilities run until 10:00 pm or without time limits according to the severity of the local epidemic situation.
The opening hours for multi-use facilities, such as restaurants, cafes, indoor sports facilities and karaoke rooms, are shortened to until 10:00 pm in the capital area, while no restriction is imposed elsewhere.
No restriction is imposed nationwide on the business hours of other multi-use facilities, which include movie theatres, internet cafes, private cram schools, study rooms, amusement parks, beauty shops and discount outlets.
Under the Level 2 guidelines, sports events are allowed to sell up to 10 percent of the combined tickets.
Religious facilities can be filled to up to 20 percent of their seating capacity.
The maximum number of attendees for wedding and funeral ceremonies is 100 under Level 2, and the public bathhouse is allowed to open until 10:00 pm.