South Korea announced on Friday that the country would be extending its stringent social-distancing campaign for another week through September 13 as the growth of COVID-19 cases continued to be in triple-digits.

Franchise bakeries and coffee shops are banned from carrying out normal businesses, with only delivery of takeout being permitted. Indoor sports establishments such as swimming pools and gyms are prohibited from re-opening.

Stringent Rules

Under the tightened social-distancing guidelines, only takeaway or delivery are permitted to restaurants from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., while doing normal business during the remaining hours, reports Xinhua news agency.

Social distancing
Social distancing Pixabay

Private cram schools with at least 10 students in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province are prohibited from performing offline classes, while visits to nursing homes and convalescent hospitals are banned. The government introduced the Level 2 social-distancing guidelines in the Seoul metropolitan area on August 16, and expanded it to the entire country a week later.

Amid the increasing spread of the Covid-19, the government launched the tighter social-distancing campaign while maintaining the Level 2 social-distancing guidelines of the three-tier system.

Triple-Digit Growth of Cases

Under the Level 2 guidelines, the indoor gatherings of over 50 people and the outdoor events of over 100 people are banned, while public and high-risk private facilities are prohibited from doing business.

The Level 3 guidelines ban all gatherings, meetings and events of over 10 people as well as all sports events. All public and private facilities are closed down except for essential economic and social purposes.

In the latest tally, the country reported 198 new cases in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of infections to 20,842. The daily caseload stayed below 200 for two days, but it has continued to grow in triple digits since August 14 owing to cluster infections in the Seoul metropolitan area.

(With inputs from agencies)

social-distancing campaign