People wearing masks take a lunch time walk along Cheonggyecheon Stream in central Seoul on Oct. 13, 2021.
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum says after enduring much hardship the country is now at a stage where it can start to prepare for a gradual return to "normal life."
Kim made the remark Wednesday at the first meeting of a committee comprised of government and civilian experts tasked with helping people get back to their pre-pandemic daily activities.
Earlier, health authorities announced that South Korea will shift to a new strategy that involves living with the coronavirus as vaccinations ramp up.
Under the plan that is expected to be implemented on November 9, COVID-19 will be treated like other contagious respiratory diseases such as the seasonal flu.
Kim stressed that preventative measures such as the use of faces masks will not go away.
But he said a so-called vaccine pass is being considered for those fully inoculated against the novel coronavirus as well as other new quarantine measures, without elaborating.