• Mayor Oh Pushes Seoul's Own COVID Restrictions To Protect Biz Community
(Photo: TBS)

Newly elected Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon says the city will devise its own set of coronavirus guidelines to minimize fallout from the ongoing pandemic on small businesses.

"Many neighborhood businesses, which are the backbone of Seoul's economy, have been collapsing.... The fundamental solution is to allow them to run their businesses," Oh said Monday during an online briefing.

He said the Seoul Metropolitan Government will work on "shifting the paradigm to 'mutually beneficial' virus restrictions, away from those that force small businesses to be the one who makes all the sacrifices."

Local restaurants, cafes, gyms, bars, and others complained that they've been disproportionately hit by what they described as the central government's inconsistent, confusing, and unfair antivirus measures.

Last week, the mayor, who's backed by the main opposition People Power Party, ordered city officials to review blanket operation restrictions on businesses to better meet the needs of each industry.

Oh said his office will remain in close consultation with the central government even for running a pilot program that he indicated may heavily rely on the use of rapid self-testing kits.

But he also warned that business owners will be required to shoulder heavier responsibilities and penalties for failing to comply with the new system if and when it's enforced.

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