• BOK: COVID Curfews Dealt Biggest Blow To In-Person Services
A food alley in Seoul's popular Myeongdong shopping district is seen empty amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 
[Photo: Newsis]

An internal report by the Bank of Korea says curbs on business operation hours have resulted in the biggest shrinkage in the "consumption of in-person services" among various antivirus measures introduced to combat the pandemic.

The report released Monday suggested that easing business curfews while imposing a stricter ceiling on the number of people at private gatherings could be more conducive to consumption.

Currently the government is imposing a 9 p.m. curfew on restaurants and cafes and a six-person cap on private gatherings in a bid to strike a balance between minimizing damage to pandemic-hit small merchants, while remaining vigilant against COVID-19.

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