Go to Main Content
T T

Welfare, Health & Security News

  • Level 2.5 Social Distancing Extended Until Feb. 14

  • Welfare, Health & Security News SMG 4265

    Nationwide Ban on Private Gatherings of 5 or More People

    Level 2.5 social distancing will be extended for two more weeks starting 12:00 AM on Feb. 1 until 11:59 PM on Feb. 14.

    The reasons behind the decision to extend the period of level 2.5 social distancing are “to lower the amount of transmissions in preparation for the holiday surge of travelers during Seollal, to proceed with smooth vaccination starting in February, and to facilitate the opening of schools starting in March.”

    Additionally, the prohibition of a private gathering of 5 or more persons will be extended nationwide to minimize the possibility of the spread of infections due to the visit to the hometown or relatives or the gathering of family members during the Seollal holidays.

    Accordingly, gatherings of 5 or more persons are prohibited even for immediate family, if they live in different places, during the Seollal holidays. The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters (CDSCH) emphasized that “people should refrain from visiting their hometown or going on a trip during the Seollal holidays, but share safety in non-face-to-face manners.”

    ■ Details of level 2.5 social distancing

    Details of level 2.5 social distancing
    Category Level 2.5 social distancing
    Facilities of prohibited gatherings ▴ 6 types of entertainment facilities
    (i.e. entertainment bars, karaoke bars, dance clubs, pick-up bars, colatecs, hold’em pubs)
    Closed after 9 PM ▴ Movie theaters, Internet cafes, arcades, multi rooms, private academies, vocational schools, reading rooms, study cafes, amusement parks, water parks, beauty salons, barbershops, department stores, supermarkets
    ▴ Door-to-door sales, singing rooms, indoor standing performance halls, indoor sports facilities, party rooms, restaurants, cafes (no eating)
    Limited number of visitors
    (i.e. weddings, funerals)
    ▴ Less than 50 persons allowed
    Religious activities ▴ Face-to-face worship of less than 10% of users that are permitted
    Movie theaters ▴ Leaving middle seats empty (leaving one middle seat empty between two persons; leaving two middle seats empty between two persons who are not of the same party)
    Performance halls ▴ Leaving middle seats empty

    Following the extended social distancing, gatherings of 50 or more persons in events, weddings, funerals, and so on within the Seoul metropolitan area are prohibited.

    Operations for 5 types of entertainment facilities (entertainment bars, karaoke bars, dance clubs, pick-up bars, and colatecs) along with hold’em pubs (where you can drink alcohol and play card games, etc.) are prohibited for two more weeks until Feb. 14.

    The measures for disease control and prevention will be maintained for multi-purpose facilities, including cafes and fitness centers, within the Seoul metropolitan area.

    Eating is permitted until 9 PM in cafes as well as in restaurants. Indoor sports facilities and karaokes can be operated until 9 PM with limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m ².

    The regulations for disease control and prevention have been relaxed for some multi-purpose facilities, including performance halls, movie theaters, and ski resorts.

    For performance halls and movie theaters, one middle seat must be left empty between two persons when the social distancing level is 1.5 or 2, and two middle seats must be left empty between two persons who are not of the same party when the social distancing level is 2.5.

    While showers of indoor sports facilities, including fitness centers, within the Seoul metropolitan area have been restricted from use, users will be allowed to take showers while maintaining a distance between one another starting next month.

    For winter sports facilities, such as ski resorts, suspension of operations after 9 PM have been lifted, but disease control and prevention measures will remain in place (i.e. suspended shuttle bus operations) to reduce the volume of visitors.

    The national government will keep watching the situation for another week to decide on the social distancing level and additional adjustment of various disease control and prevention measures, if necessary.

    The CDSCH announced that “prolonged social distancing is causing small business owners to make appeals for their business struggles due to the limitation of operation and prohibition of gatherings,” and that “there are worries of reduced citizen participation in the prolonged social distancing.” The CDSCH disclosed that it will be “discussing the adjustment of the social distancing level next week.”

    Moreover, the implementation of “special disease control and prevention for the Seollal holidays” will proceed accordingly from Feb. 1 to Feb. 14.

    To prevent another wave of COVID-19 due to the public’s traveling for the holidays, train tickets only for the window seats will be sold. Indoor eating is prohibited for highway service areas, and only take-out services will be permitted.

    In particular, reservations for accommodations can be made for a limited number of users (i.e. two-thirds of the number of rooms) in order to prevent the surge of travelers during the Seollal holidays. Furthermore, the limit on the number of guests permitted per guest room will be extended for two weeks.

    ■ Summary of disease control and prevention measures in the capital area (level 2.5 social distancing + adjusted measures)
    ※ Adjusted measures that are independent from level 2.5 social distancing are written in bold red font.
    ① Gatherings & events

    Gatherings & events
    Private gatherings

    ▸Prohibited private gatherings of 5 or more persons
    * (Except) when a family who is living in the same space is gathering; when it is required for the care of children, the elderly, or the disabled; when a person is about to pass away so the family must gather
    – Prohibited reservation or entrance of 5 or more persons to multi-purpose facilities including restaurants

    Other gatherings & events ▸Prohibited gatherings or events of 50 or more persons at weddings, funerals, and commemorative events
    * Excludes mandatory business activities by public officials and enterprises; gatherings for examinations allowed with less than 50 persons in attendance at a separate space
    ▸ Gatherings for exhibitions, fairs and international conferences limited to one person per 16 m ² (standard for prohibited gatherings of 50 or more persons does not apply)

    ② Multi-purpose facilities: High-risk and general facilities

    Multi-purpose facilities: High-risk and general facilities
    Common regulation ▸Wearing of masks, keeping a visitors’ log, ventilation and disinfection
    (Visitors’ log not required for stores, markets and department stores)
    Five types of entertainment facilities Hold’em pub ▸Gatherings prohibited
    Direct sales promotion halls (e.g. door-to-door sales)

    ▸Discontinued operations from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸Prohibited singing and provision of foods (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m ²
    * Keep a distance of 2 meters (minimum of 1 meter) between users in the facility

    Karaoke rooms ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)

    ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m ² ; limited number of users to 4 persons per room; re-use of a room 30 minutes after being used after disinfection
    * Keep a distance of 2 meters (minimum of 1 meter) between users in the facility
    ▸Same regulations applied to coin singing rooms when a manager is present. If it is difficult to limit the number of users to 1 person per 8 m ², 1 person per room is permitted.

    Indoor standing performance halls

    ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    ▸Must be operated with seats (standing prohibited); keep a distance of 2 meters (minimum of 1 meter) between seats

    Restaurants & cafes (including unmanned cafes)

    ▸If 2 or more users order only coffee, beverages or desserts, the time they can stay in the store is less than 1 hour (strongly recommended).
    ▸Take-outs and deliveries only from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day for both restaurants and cafes

    ▸For facilities larger than 50 m ², use only 50% of its seats and tables by keeping empty ones or observe one of the following measures: ① 1-meter distance between tables; ② installment of partitions between tables
    ▸For buffets, use plastic gloves or hand sanitizers before and after use of tongs, plates and utensils; keep distance between users in line for food

    Party rooms

    ▸ Suspension of operations after 9 PM until 5 AM the next day
    ▸ Limited capacity; post capacity notice (max. 1 user per 8 m2 of room)

    * Post room capacity notice at the entrance and the like, and inform customers
    ▸ Distancing of 1 m between tables, installing partitions between tables, or leaving middle tables/seats empty (for facilities of +50 m2 in reported/permitted size)

    Indoor sports facilities(Including indoor winter sports facilities) ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)

    ▸Gathering prohibited for hard exercise (GX) programs

    * Zumba, Tae Bo, spinning, aerobics, etc.

    ▸Limited number of users to 4 persons per room of screen golf clubs, etc.
    ▸Prohibited operation of shower rooms (excluding swimming pools)
    ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m ²

    * Keep a distance of 2 meters (minimum of 1 meter) between users in the facility

    Outdoor winter sports facilities
    (e.g. ski resorts, ice rinks, sledding slopes)

    ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸Limited to one-third of capacity that can be admitted
    ▸Prohibited gatherings at ski resort facilities (restaurants, cafes, arcades, etc.), except for equipment rental stations and locker rooms
    ▸Discontinued operations of shuttle buses from other regions to ski resorts
    ▸Advised use of reservation system for equipment and item rentals to reduce overcrowding
    ▸Advised reduction or discontinuance of ski lessons and other on-site programs
    ▸Advised minimalization of shared lodging by employees and part-time workers
    ▸Restaurants and cafes as additional facilities must comply with the regulations for restaurants and cafes.
    ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m ² for locker rooms and arcade.

    Private academies and training schools
    (excluding study rooms)
    ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)

    ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m ²
    * Keep a distance of 2 meters (minimum of 1 meter) between users in the facility
    ▸For singing and wind instrument lessons, only 1:1 lessons are permitted in one space (room). If partitions are installed, up to 4 persons are permitted to use a space (room).
    ▸Prohibited operation of accommodations

    * Accommodations allowed if related disinfection regulations, such as getting preemptively tested, are observed.

    Vocational institutions ▸Limited number of users to 50 persons per wedding from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m ²
    * Keep a distance of 2 meters (minimum of 1 meter) between users in the facility
    Wedding halls ▸Each wedding hall limited to no more than 50 persons
    Funeral halls ▸Each funeral hall limited to no more than 50 persons
    Bath facilities ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 16 m ²
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)

    ▸Sauna and fomentation facilities prohibited

    Movie theaters ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸ Leaving one middle seat empty between two persons or leaving two middle seats empty between two persons who are not of the same party
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    Performance halls ▸Leving two middle seats empty between two persons who are not of the same party
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    PC cafes ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸Social-distanced seating (except when partitions are installed)
    ▸No eating (except individual dining within the partitions; water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    Arcades and multi-rooms ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m ²
    Study rooms and cafes ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸No eating (except individual dining within the partitions; water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    ▸Social-distanced seating (except when partitions are installed)
    ▸Only 50% of users permitted in group rooms
    Amusement and water parks ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸Limited to one-third of capacity that can be admitted
    Barber shops and beauty salons ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m ² or social-distanced seating
    Department stores and markets▸Check temperature and symptoms
    ▸Prohibited operations of food sampling, tasting and product testing
    ▸Prohibition of events to attract customers
    ▸Prohibited use of users’ rest areas (e.g. lounges, chairs)

    ▸Check temperature and symptoms
    ▸Prohibited operations of food sampling, tasting and product testing
    ▸Prohibition of events to attract customers
    ▸Prohibited use of users’ rest areas (e.g. lounges, chairs)

    ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day

    Retail stores and markets (larger than 300 m ²) ▸Closed from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸Mandatory mask-wearing
    ▸Regular ventilation and disinfection

    ③ Other multi-purpose facilities

    Other multi-purpose facilities
    Lifelong education institutions
    (including culture centers)

    ▸For singing and wind instrument lessons, only 1:1 lessons are permitted in one space (room). If partitions are installed, up to 4 persons are permitted to use a space (room).

    Accommodations

    ▸Limited number of users to two-third of the number of rooms
    ▸Prohibited accommodation of users that exceeds the number that is permitted for each room
    ▸Prohibited operation of rooms (e.g. event rooms) for parties
    ▸Recommended refraining from holding a party or event organized by the accommodation facilities or individuals
    ▸Strict compliance with the number of users per room; posting the notice that any guest caught holding a party will have to leave the room.

    National/public facilities ▸Prohibited operation of velodromes, racecourses, regattas and casinos
    ▸Flexible operation of sports facilities considering the operation status of private ones
    ▸Other facilities will accommodate less than 30% of users that are permitted
    Social welfare facilities ▸Operated under stronger disinfection measures, such as limited number of users to 30% of the number that is permitted; closed if necessary considering the danger level of the region

    ④ Daily and socioeconomic activities

    Daily and socioeconomic activities
    Mandatory mask-wearing ▸Mandatory mask-wearing at all indoor facilities and in the outdoors where a 2-meter distance cannot be observed; a fine to be imposed upon violation of the regulation
    Use of transportation facilities ▸Strongly recommended refraining from traveling and business trip of capital area residents to other regions
    ▸Mandatory mask-wearing; no eating in vehicles (excluding international airlines); limited reservations to 50% for KTX and intercity buses (excluding flights)
    Sporting events ▸Games without fans in attendance
    Schools ▸Limited to one-third of capacity that can be admitted
    Religious activities

    ▸In-house service is permitted for up to 10% of capacity for regular worship, mass, Buddhist ceremony, and Cheondogyo rituals

    ▸Prohibited gatherings and dining organized by religious facilities
    * All gatherings and events are prohibited for prayer houses, training centers, and missionary facilities, excluding regular religious activities.

    Workplaces ▸More than one-third of all personnel advised to telecommute; advised to dine in shifts at the company cafeteria; advised to refrain from meetings and dinners
    * Excludes institutions (personnel) performing duties concerning security, national defense, diplomacy, firefighting, postal service, disinfections, broadcasting, industrial safety and COVID-19, or institutions (personnel) dealing with personal information or information requiring security
    – Mandatory compliance with disinfection regulations, including mask-wearing, regular disinfection, keeping distance between each other or installing partitions for high-risk businesses with close contact where workers cannot easily work from home (e.g. call centers, logistics centers)
    – Assign different lunch times and apply flexible working arrangements
    ▸Minimum one-third of personnel from private companies advised to telecommute (excluding the number of workers who should work at the office); actively practice the rotating lunch time system
    * Excludes institutions (personnel) performing duties concerning security, national defense, diplomacy, firefighting, postal service, disinfections, broadcasting, industrial safety and COVID-19, or institutions (personnel) dealing with personal data or infosecurity
    ▸The scope of workers who should work at the office for private companies and institutions to be decided through discussion between the labor union and management according to the characteristics of each company and institution.