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Welfare, Health & Security News

  • Reinforced Social Distancing for Sixteen Days (Starting December 18)

  • Welfare, Health & Security News SMG 1331

    • (Goal) Expansion of 3rd dose vaccine administration and securing time for expanding medical capacity while creating a continuous base for the gradual return to normalcy through reduction of serious cases and deaths.
    • (Basic Direction) ① Blocking infections for non-vaccinated persons who make up half of serious cases and deaths, and ② Removing general social risk factors through minimizing interpersonal contact.
    • (Period) Sat, Dec. 18, 2021 – Sun, Jan. 2, 2022 (for sixteen days)

    Key Details

    ① Private gathering restrictions

    • (Necessity) The year-end period has a high risk of the spread of infection due to seasonal factors which encourage indoor activity and increased gatherings arising from year-end and New Year’s parties, etc.
      • – There is a need to reduce the size of private gatherings to lower interpersonal contact.
    • (Adjustment) (Before) Although the vaccine pass is applied, an exception of up to 1 non-vaccinated person is given within the scope of private gatherings considering its essential characteristics → (After) Although the vaccine pass is applied, only individual use by non-vaccinated person* considered as an exception
      • * Non-vaccinated persons excluding persons excluded from the vaccine pass (e.g. persons with negative PCR test result, minors under 18, cured patients, persons unable to get vaccinated)
      • – (Restaurants, cafes) (Before) Although the vaccine pass is applied, an exception of up to 1 non-vaccinated person is given within the scope of private gatherings considering its essential characteristics → (After) Although the vaccine pass is applied, only individual use by non-vaccinated person* considered as an exception
        • * Non-vaccinated persons excluding persons excluded from the vaccine pass (e.g. persons with negative PCR test result, minors under 18, cured patients, persons unable to get vaccinated)

    ② Business hour restrictions

    • (Necessity) Business hour restrictions for nationwide commercial facilities required for the effects of reduced social movement and practical social distancing.
      • – Especially, if activity continues on to evenings, quarantine risks increase due to droplets and lengthening of drinking parties in which it is difficult to wear a mask, etc.
    • (Adjustment) (Before) No business hour restrictions excluding entertainment facilities (until 12 AM) → (After) Business hour restrictions: 9 PM for group 1 and 2 facilities, and 10 PM for group 3 facilities
      • – (9 PM restriction) Business hours are restricted to 9 PM for group 1 (e.g. entertainment facilities) and group 2 (e.g. restaurants, karaoke rooms, baths/saunas, indoor sports facilities)
      • – (10 PM restriction) Business hours are restricted to 10 PM for group 3 and other selected facilities (e.g. movie theaters, performance halls, multi-rooms, casinos, PC rooms, private academies,* massage parlors, party rooms)
        • * 10 PM restriction applied to lifelong vocational education institutes
    Multi-use Facility Groups
    (Group 1) Approx. 40,000 locations (e.g. entertainment facilities, colatecs, ballrooms)
    (Group 2) Approx. 960,000 locations (e.g. restaurants, karaoke rooms, baths/saunas, indoor sports facilities)
    (Group 3) Approx. 1,050,000 locations (e.g. private academies, movie theaters, performance halls, PC rooms, study rooms)
    (Other) Approx. 130,000 locations (e.g. cycling/boat/horse racing facilities, party rooms, kids cafes, massage parlors)

    ③ Reduction of large-scale events and assemblies, and expansion of vaccine pass application

    • * (Events) Local festivals, briefing sessions, public hearings, debates, commemoration events, training conferences, autograph events, lectures, competitions, training, etc. hosted by groups, corporates, public institutions, country, etc. as well as weddings, funerals, banquets, first-birthday parties
    • (Necessity) Aside from the restriction of the size of private gatherings, vaccine pass application standards are strengthened for large-scale events and assemblies to strengthen the protection of non-vaccinated persons and minimize social contact.
    • (Adjustment) (Before) Events and assemblies up to 99 persons allowed regardless of vaccination status, and events and assemblies up to 499 persons allowed if it only consists of fully vaccinated persons, etc.
      • → Events and assemblies up to 49 persons* allowed regardless of vaccination status, events and assemblies up to 299 persons allowed if it only consists of fully vaccinated persons, etc.
      • * Based on previous level 3 social distancing, considering it is a highly accepted standard.
      • – Events of 300 persons or more (e.g. irregular performance venues, sports competitions, festivals) allowed under the approval of related institutions. However, approval will not be provided excluding necessary events for the next 2 weeks.
    • (Expanded application)Expansion of vaccine pass application for events of 50 persons or more that are excluded or applies separate rules (limit of up to 299 persons not applied)
      • – Also applied to events related to essential public and corporate events* which was excluded from the vaccine pass application.
        • * (Example) Regular meeting of the Board of Directors, National Assembly meeting for budget and legal processing, broadcasting production and transmission, etc.
      • – Also applied to exhibitions, expos, international meetings which were managed through separate measures.*
        • * (Exhibitions, expos) 1 person per 6 m/ (International meetings) 2-seat distancing
      • ☞ (Weddings) Select one between ① Private gathering and event criteria (events and assemblies of up to 49 persons allowed regardless of vaccination status or up to 299 persons is possible if it only consists of fully vaccinated persons), or ② Previous measure (49 unvaccinated persons + 201 vaccinated persons = up to 250 persons)

    ④ Strengthening of quarantine guidelines for religious facilities

    To be separately announced before enforcement of protocols (Dec. 18) after evaluation by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

    ⑤ Strengthening of social distancing for other daily areas

    • (Schools) Density adjusted to two-thirds* for all schools in the Seoul metropolitan area and large and congested schools in the non-metropolitan area, which can be flexibly adjusted according to region and school considering local infection status, etc.
      • * Five-sixths density for elementary schools (including grades 1 and 2), two-thirds density for middle and high schools applied starting Mon, Dec. 20, with normal operations for preschools, special care facilities, and small-scale rural schools.
    • (Workplaces) Relieving congestion within the workplace and preventing increased risk of mass-infection through the enforcement of telecommuting, active utilization of staggered work hours, and contactless video meetings.
    • (Public institutions) Delay or cancellation of in-person events by public institutions and strict public discipline compliance such as refraining from gatherings and group dinners, etc.