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S. Korea unveils detailed guidelines for 'everyday life quarantine'

All News 13:36 April 24, 2020

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, April 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Friday unveiled a set of guidelines for each facility and occasion to better implement an "everyday life quarantine" amid a slowdown in new coronavirus cases.

The latest guidelines are detailed virus prevention instructions introduced by the government earlier this week that communities and individuals should follow when the country initiates the "everyday life quarantine," a quarantine scheme allowing people to engage in a certain level of economic and social activities while maintaining distance to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Health authorities said 12 government ministries have prepared prevention hygiene guidelines on 31 areas, covering almost every situation that people would face in their daily lives.

Citizens wearing face masks walk in a park in Seoul on April 24, 2020. (Yonhap)

The guidelines call for people to stay home when they show symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, or have gone overseas in the past two weeks.

Regardless of place, people are advised to keep a distance of 2 meters when they meet others and follow basic personal hygiene routines, such as washing hands.

At work, people are urged to minimize face-to-face occasions and focus on their disinfection routine. When greeting others, a slight bow is recommended instead of shaking hands.

For store owners or small business operators, the government asked them to limit mass-gathering events. Those who plan to attend religious activities are advised to wear face masks.

The government said these guidelines do not have legal power, as they are "recommendations," but for some core instructions, it is considering imposing penalties on violators.

Health officials said they decided to unveil the guidelines before the country makes its transition to the "everyday life quarantine" because such a system requires earning a social consensus.

Health workers disinfect sports equipment at a community sports center in Seoul on April 23, 2020. (Yonhap)

The government said its draft guidelines will be ultimately confirmed later after listening to thoughts from various people. South Korea has already formed a committee to discuss "everyday life quarantine," comprising medical experts, government officials and civil group representatives.

"These guidelines were created with a purpose of balancing people's daily lives and quarantine activities and aim to begin with people's understanding and participation," Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip said. "The guidelines are also prepared with a mind that they can be upgraded with people's creative ideas."

South Korea's virus prevention guidelines can be found at the Ministry of Health and Welfare's website (mohw.go.kr).


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