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S.Korea to ease social-distancing rules on higher vaccination rate

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-10-15 13:38
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Commuters wearing masks to avoid contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walk on a zebra crossing in Seoul, South Korea, September 24, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL - South Korea decided Friday to ease social-distancing rules on a higher vaccination rate, although the highest level of social-distancing guideline will be maintained for two more weeks amid the continued COVID-19 resurgence.

The Level 4 social-distancing guideline, the highest in the country's four-tier quarantine rules, will be kept in place in Seoul, its surrounding Gyeonggi province and the western port city of Incheon until Oct 31.

The toughest quarantine scheme has been in place in the Seoul metropolitan area since July 12.

Under the Level 4 scheme, the business hour of restaurants and cafes will continue to be limited to be until 10:00 p.m. local time.

However, the number of people who are allowed in a gathering will be increased to eight, including at least four fully-vaccinated people, from the previous six.

It will be applied to all multi-use facilities, including cafes and restaurants. The fully inoculated people refer to those who have received the second dose of vaccine two weeks ago.

The moderated quarantine measures came amid the higher vaccination rate. In the latest tally, 78.4 percent of the country's population received the COVID-19 vaccine, and 62.5 percent were fully vaccinated.

The COVID-19 resurgence continued, with the daily number of confirmed cases staying above 1,000 for 101 straight days since July 7.

In the non-capital region, the Level 3 social-distancing rules will be maintained for two more weeks until Oct. 31.

However, the business hour of restaurants and cafes will be lengthened by two more hours until midnight.

The number of people allowed for private gatherings will be raised to 10, including at least six fully-vaccinated people, from the previous eight.

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