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Welfare, Health & Security News

  • Two-Week Extension of Level 2.5 Social Distancing Until Jan. 31

  • Welfare, Health & Security News SMG 6774

    Nationwide Ban on Private Gatherings of 5 or More People

    The national government has decided to extend level 2.5 social distancing within the capital area for two weeks until Sun, Jan. 31.

    The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters (CDSCH) announced to extend the current social distancing level in consideration of the likelihood of increased viral transmissions in winter and new waves of COVID-19 infections if disease control and prevention measures are lax. The CDSCH also explained that it is greatly important to minimize contact between individuals to prevent the re-proliferation of COVID-19 this winter.

    Accordingly, the prohibition of private gatherings of 5 or more persons will be extended nationwide. The operational restriction of multi-purpose facilities after 9 PM will also be maintained. That being said, operations will be permitted for some multi-purpose facilities on the condition that they comply with disinfection regulations.

    ■ Changes to disease control and prevention measures for facilities of prohibited gatherings in the capital area

    Changes to disease control and prevention measures for facilities of prohibited gatherings in the capital area
    Gatherings currently prohibited Changes
    Entertainment facilities (5 types) ▸Gatherings remain prohibited
    Hold’em pubs ▸Gatherings remain prohibited
    Direct sales promotion halls (e.g. door-to-door sales) ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m2
    * Limited number of users to 1 person per 4 m2 for level 2 social distancing
    ▸Common disease control and prevention measures for level 2 social distancing
    ① Closed after 9 PM
    ② No eating
    ③ Required: masks, visitors’ log, ventilation and disinfection
    ▸Detailed disinfection regulations according to facility characteristics
    Karaoke rooms
    Indoor sports facilities
    Private academies
    Indoor standing performance halls

    Gatherings are prohibited in 5 types of entertainment facilities (i.e. entertainment bars, karaoke bars, dance clubs, pick-up bars, and colatecs) and hold’em pubs, where people are highly likely to get in close contact with unspecified others in crowded space.

    Gatherings are no longer prohibited for direct sales promotion halls, indoor sports facilities, private academies, karaoke rooms and indoor standing performance halls, and they are allowed to resume operations under limited conditions. They have to follow the regulations of level 2 social distancing, such as closing after 9 PM, no eating within premises, mandatory wearing of masks, keeping a visitors’ log, ventilation and disinfection. The number of users must be limited to 1 person per 8 m2 (as of registered and permitted area of facility). In addition, each facility must post the facility capacity at the entrance. All private gatherings of 5 or more persons for socializing/entertaining purposes are also prohibited at every multi-purpose facility.

    Only take-out and delivery was allowed for cafes, but now cafes will be allowed to accept visitors to eat and drink until 9 PM, provided that they strictly comply with the disinfection regulations.

    Restaurants and cafes that are larger than 50 m2 must use only 50% of their seats and tables by keeping empty ones, keeping a 1-meter distance between tables, or installing partitions between tables.

    Facility users must wear a mask when not eating. Violators will be fined no more than KRW 100,000. If two or more persons order coffee, beverages or desserts at a cafe or restaurant, they can stay at the place for less than one hour.

    As for religious activities, such as regular worship, Buddhist ceremony and mass, in-house service is permitted for up to 10% of capacity under the condition that participants comply with disinfection regulations, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

    The CDSCH emphasized that everyone’s efforts to comply with disinfection regulations, such as social distancing, are important as collective infections continue to occur near the everyday lives of citizens. After evaluating the status of prevalence for two weeks, it will adjust the social distancing level and consider the additional loosening of disease control and prevention measures.

    The CDSCH stressed that the loosening of prohibited gatherings and expansion of the usable scope of stores must involve strict compliance with disease control and prevention measures, as active participation of citizens and their social distancing has declined the number of patients so far.

    ■ Summary of disease control and prevention measures in the capital area (level 2.5 social distancing + adjusted measures) (Jan. 18–31, 2021)
    ※ 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 m2 (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)
    Entertainment facilities (5 types) ▸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 m2
    * 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 m2; 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 karaoke rooms when a manager is present. If it is difficult to limit the number of users to 1 person per 8 m2, 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 m2, 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

    Hold’em pubs

    Gatherings prohibited

    Indoor sports facilities ▸Closed hours 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 m2

    * 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 hours 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 m2 for locker rooms and arcade.

    Private academies and training schools
    (excluding study rooms)
    ▸Closed hours 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 m2
    * 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 m2
    * 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 m2
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)

    Sauna and fomentation facilities prohibited

    Movie theaters ▸Closed hours from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸Social-distanced seating
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    Performance halls ▸Social-distanced seating
    ▸No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages permitted)
    Internet cafes ▸Closed hours 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 hours 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 m2
    Study rooms and cafes ▸Closed hours 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 hours 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 hours from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸Limited number of users to 1 person per 8 m2 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)
    ▸Closed hours from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day

    Retail stores and markets (larger than 300 m2) ▸Closed hours from 9 PM to 5 AM of the following day
    ▸Mandatory mask-wearing
    ▸Regular ventilation and disinfection

    ③ Other multi-purpose facilities

    Gatherings & events
    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.

    Party rooms

    Gathering prohibited

    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

    Gatherings & events
    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 use of different time system for use of 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.