South Korea Friday announced that it has decided to maintain tighter social-distancing guidelines for one more week amid the continued triple-digit growth of new COVID-19 cases. Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a government meeting that the Level 2 social-distancing guidelines will remain in place for one more week in Seoul and its surrounding metropolitan area, reports Xinhua news agency.

Chung said the government was considering tighter quarantine measures under the Level 2 campaign, such as the restriction on business hours and running practices for restaurants and cafes where people most frequently visit in daily life.

South Korean Flag
South Korean Flag Wikimedia Commons

Triple-Digit Case Growth

He noted that the Level 3 social-distancing guidelines in the three-tier system would remain a choice of last resort given its economic and social ripple effect. In the latest tally, the country reported 371 new cases in the past 24 hours, raising the total to 19,077.

The daily caseload was down from the previous day's six-month high of 441, but it kept growing in triple digits for 15 straight days. To address the virus spread, the government raised the social-distancing requirements to Level 2 on August 16 in the Seoul metropolitan area, home to about half of the country's 51 million population.

Strict Distancing Measures

It was expanded to the whole country a week later. Under the Level 2 campaign, indoor gatherings of over 50 people and 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 the gatherings, meetings and events of over 10 people as well as all sports events. All the public and private facilities will be closed down except for essential economic and social purposes.