In compliance with government measures for intensified social distancing in the metropolitan area, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will strengthen social distancing to level 2 in restaurants and cafes until September 6. Only take-out and delivery will be permitted between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. the next day for general restaurants, small restaurants, and bakeries, and the same regulation will apply around the clock for all franchise cafes. Only untact classes will permitted for hagwons (academies), and all gatherings at indoor sports facilities are prohibited. Such measures are part of the reinforcement of the existing level 2 social distancing.
Although there are opinions for immediately raising social distancing to level 3, the SMG has stated that level 3 social distancing must be used as the final card as it will have heavy social and economic impacts. The city plans to maintain level 2 measures, strengthen disinfections in high-risk areas, and observe changes while planning for level 3 in preparation for worsening conditions.
First, the city implemented the mandatory observance of key “measures for limited gatherings” in general restaurants, small restaurants, and bakeries from 12:00 a.m. on August 30 (Sun.) until midnight of September 6 (Sun.). Upon failure to observe the key disease-prevention measures, the measures will be changed to a total prohibition of gatherings.
Disease-prevention measures that limit the hours of general restaurants, small restaurants, and bakeries also apply to the disease-prevention measures for franchise coffee shops, which can only offer take-out and delivery at all times.
The SMG plans to establish a cooperative system with police stations, autonomous districts, disinfection companies, and related associations (Korea Foodservice Industry Association, EFA, etc.) for intensified follow-up control, publicized disease-prevention measures, and performance of high intensity inspections.
Second, gatherings at fitness centers, billiard halls, table tennis rooms, driving ranges, and others indoor sports facilities (including independently owned businesses) with high transmission of droplets will be prohibited from 12:00 a.m. on August 30th to midnight of September 6 in consideration of the fact that users tend to stay at such facilities for a longer amount of time.
Third, offline classes at all hagwons (excluding training schools) in the metropolitan area will be prohibited starting at 12:00 a.m. on August 31, and only online classes will be permitted to minimize gatherings by large groups of students. The same measures for prohibited gatherings apply to study rooms and study cafes (from 12:00 a.m. on August 31st to midnight of September 6).
Fourth, visitations will continue to be prohibited in convalescent hospitals and facilities and the access to such facilities by outside individuals will continue to be controlled. The recommended closure of day and night shelters and rest areas for hot days that are frequented by elders will continue to be implemented.
Fifth, the SMG continues to encourage telecommuting for private businesses (conglomerates and small- and medium-sized businesses) starting on August 19 (Wed.) when disease-prevention measures were reinforced in the metropolitan area, in cooperation with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Korea Federation of SMEs, to maintain less than half the number of on-site workers.