① Safety: Full inspection of COVID-19 in homeless facilities and continuous operation of screening clinics and infectious diseases specialized hospitals.
② Transportation: The city does not extend the public transportation service hours and maintain the disinfection measures for subway and buses while conducting special disinfection for terminals and major stations.
③ Livelihood: The city designates 971 hospitals and clinics and 2,605 pharmacies to open during the holidays. 120 Dasan Seoul Call Center will be operated for daily inquiries.
④ Living prices: The city sells the “Seoul Love Gift Certificate” at a ten percent discount, and both online and offline discount events will be held so that citizens can buy agricultural and marine products at up to a 35 percent discount.
⑤ Sharing: Customized support for vulnerable and underprivileged people, and operate an emergency contact system and safety check for the elderly.
This year will be the first time the city government does not extend the last bus/subway timing during the holidays. Also, the city will not add extra city buses going through municipal cemeteries. The city will dispatch disinfection staff to eight major stations, including the Seoul Station and the Express Bus Terminal Station, to prevent the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, screening clinics, infectious diseases specialized hospitals, and life treatment centers will remain open during the holiday season. The city government will also conduct a full-scale survey of the homeless facilities where the COVID-19 confirmed cases have recently been reported in a row in order to block the spread of the disease.
To encourage consumption during the holidays, autonomous districts have started to sell the “Seoul Love Gift Certificate” at a ten percent discount from February 3. The citizens can buy the coupons for up to 700,000 won per month. Both online and offline discount events will also be held in eleven branches of Hyundai Department Store and online shopping mall “11 Street” where citizens can buy around 400 kinds of agricultural and marine products from 14 cities and provinces at up to a 35 percent discount.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will install and run a twenty-four-hour control center on the first floor of the Seoul City Hall starting from 6 pm on February 10 until 9 am on February 15 to quickly respond to emergencies during the holidays.
The comprehensive measures will be categorized into five areas – 1) safety, 2) transportation, 3) livelihood, 4) living prices, 5) sharing – with 20 detailed plans.
First, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will keep running the responsive system against the spread of the virus and strengthen disinfection measures.
To do so, the city government will operate the control center “COVID 19 Seoul Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters” and have each autonomous district run at least one screening clinic. At the same time, infectious diseases specialized hospitals and life treatment centers will be in twenty-four-hour operation.
To ensure a seamless self-quarantine of the international students entering Korea to study, the city secured 1,000 rooms at five facilities. From February 1, the city government has run temporary living facilities for the international students. The city will conduct the twenty-fourhour monitoring and emergency response system to deliver necessary commodities and conduct unscheduled check on the absence without permission to control the people in selfquarantine.
For the homeless people and workers at homeless facilities exposed to infection risk, the city gets them tested for COVID-19 (February 3 to 9). During the Lunar New Year special disinfection period (February 1 to 14), the city government conducts a disinfection inspection on multi-use facilities, such as big shopping malls and traditional markets.
Aimed at encouraging citizens to stay home, the city government will promote an online “Sebae (New Year’s traditional bow or greeting to elders)” campaign and provide the service of “cyber memorial house” for people who wanted to visit city-owned burial facilities.
The campaign titled “No-visit is the way of showing love to your parents” will be promoted via the city government’s webpage, social media, Kakaotalk channel, and private-run portals. The city will also encourage citizens to visit their ancestors’ graves online by closing indoor charnel houses in the city-owned burial facilities during the weekends and holiday season.
Second, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will not extend the public transportation service hours and not add extra city buses passing through municipal cemeteries to restrict citizens’ movement. Meanwhile, the city government will maintain the disinfection measures for subway and buses while conducting special disinfection for terminals and major stations.
Third, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will designate 971 hospitals and clinics and 2,605 drug stores to open during the holidays to prepare for emergency patient care. Through 65 emergency medical institutes running for 24 hours a day, Seoul will keep operating the emergency treatment system (as of January 30, 2021). Simultaneously, the city plans to minimize citizens’ inconvenience by having street cleaners on special duty and running the 120 Dasan Call Center for 24 hours a day.
Fourth, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will implement necessary measures to prevent a price hike during the holiday seasons, facilitate small business economies, and promote urbanrural coexistence and cooperation.
Fifth, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will provide tailored support for the isolated neighborhood such as homeless people and the residents living in slums and conduct a check-up on the safety of the elderly in a vulnerable group while keeping its eyes on preventing the COVID-19 infection.
Cho In-dong, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Administration at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, said, “The Lunar New Year’s comprehensive measures this year aim to ensure that all the citizens can enjoy the holidays in a safe and convenient environment, through allencompassing measures of preventing the spread of the virus, ensuring the preparedness and readiness against natural disasters, stabilizing the prices in the holiday season, and providing support for the vulnerable groups for citizens’ health and safety.” He added, “We’d like to ask citizens to strictly comply with individual COVID-19 safety rules such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and 30-second-handwashing while staying home and refraining from going out as much as possible during the holidays for the safety of all.”