President Moon Jae-in speaks on the coronavirus situation in South Korea while presiding over a Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae on Nov. 17, 2020. (Photo: Yonhap News)
Tougher social distancing rules are set to take effect in the greater Seoul area amid a recent surge in coronavirus cases.
President Moon Jae-in and health authorities said on Tuesday that the situation is getting serious and move to Level 1.5 distancing is necessary stop the virus from spreading nationwide.
Ron Chang has this report.
Level 1.5 social distancing will take effect in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province Thursday and in Incheon on Monday.
In these areas, all gatherings of more than 100 people will be banned, including rallies, festivals, music and academic events.
Visitors to theaters, concerts and libraries will be required to sit at least one seat apart from each other while spectators at sporting events will be limited to 30 percent of the stadium's capacity.
Churches will also have to limit the number of people allowed inside their buildings.
The tougher measures also prohibit dancing and moving to others seats at clubs and other high-risk entertainment facilities, and drinking and eating will not be allowed at singing rooms and concert halls.
President Moon called the move inevitable to control virus transmissions.
He said it may "come as an inconvenience" but urged cooperation in order to prevent additional infections and the further toughening of the distancing scheme, and potentially the forced closures of certain businesses.
The new rules will remain in place until December 2.
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