For three weeks starting midnight on Tue, Dec. 8, social distancing will be raised to level 2.5 for the Seoul metropolitan area (i.e. Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi-do), and level 2 for other regions (some measures may be adjusted according to the local epidemiological characteristics). The goal is to reduce the number of daily confirmed cases in the Seoul metropolitan area from 200 to 150, and the duration may be adjusted or extended according to circumstances.
Level 2.5 social distancing measures in the Seoul metropolitan area are as follows:
○ First, telecommuting and remote classes will be expanded in order to minimize the travel and traffic of the general public (i.e. commuting and outdoor activities of workers and students on vacation), and students will be prohibited from attending private academies (including private classes).
– Moreover, residents within the Seoul metropolitan area are strongly recommended to refrain from visiting other regions (e.g. for vacation, business trips), and the reservation capacity for transportation services (e.g. KTX, express buses) will be reduced to 50%.
○ Second, the operation of major multi-use facilities (e.g. restaurants, movie theaters, Internet cafes, barber shops, beauty salons, arcades, supermarkets, department stores, amusement parks) will be restricted after 9 PM in order to inhibit citizens from engaging in meetings and outings as much as possible.
– The guest capacity for meetings and events (e.g. weddings, ceremonies, briefing sessions) will be reduced from 100 to less than 50, and parties and events organized by accommodation facilities (e.g. hotels, guesthouses, party rooms) will be prohibited regardless of the number of people.
○ Lastly, gatherings will be prohibited at businesses not classified or regarded as essential to the economic and industrial sectors or they must convert to contactless services (e.g. online) due to high-risk activities (e.g. long conversations, expositions, singing, sporting activities).
– Gatherings are prohibited in karaoke rooms, direct sales promotion halls (e.g. door-to-door sales), and indoor sports facilities (e.g. gymnasiums, billiard rooms, indoor standing performance halls).
– Customers are prohibited from drinking/dining in cafes, and only take-out and delivery services will be allowed. Saunas and public baths are prohibited from operations.
– Religious facilities must convert to contactless/online proceedings (i.e. Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, Cheondoist) with less than 20 participants, and are prohibited from holding meetings and providing meals.
Comparison of level 2 and level 2.5 social distancing in the Seoul metropolitan area
|Level 2||Level 2.5|
|▸ No gatherings at entertainment facilities|
|▸ Only take-out and delivery services for restaurants after 9 PM
▸ No dining/drinking in cafes, and only take-out and delivery services available
|▸ No eating/drinking in karaoke rooms, direct sales promotion halls (e.g. door-to-door sales), and indoor sports facilities, and suspension of operations after 9 PM||▸ No gatherings at karaoke rooms, direct sales promotion halls (e.g. door-to-door sales), indoor sports facilities, private academies, etc.|
|▸ No eating/drinking in movie theaters, Internet cafes, barber shops, beauty salons, etc. and One seat between users||▸ Added: Suspension of operations after 9 PM for movie theaters, Internet cafes, barber shops, beauty salons, arcades, study rooms, etc.|
|▸ One seat between users of performance halls (e.g. auditorium seating)||▸ Two seats between users of performance halls (e.g. auditorium seating)|
|▸ Mandatory mask-wearing in supermarkets, stores and department stores as well as ventilation/disinfection (for facilities +300 m2)||▸ Added: Suspension of operations after 9 PM for supermarkets, stores and department stores (for facilities +300 m2)|
|▸ No gatherings for meetings and events (+100 persons)||▸ No gatherings for meetings and events (+50 persons)|
|▸ School attendance at one third capacity, and up to two thirds||▸ School attendance at one third capacity|