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(2nd LD) Mandatory QR code-based registration at entertainment facilities starts amid pandemic

All News 15:05 June 10, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with QR code register plan for private institutes in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea started QR code-based registration of visitors at bars, clubs and other entertainment facilities across the country Wednesday, as part of the country's efforts to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, health authorities said.

Around 80,000 facilities in the nation are required to use smartphone QR code-based entry logs for all visitors to keep records of their personal details.

Since early this month, the country has enforced QR code-based entry logs at such facilities in the greater Seoul area and selected cities in its latest efforts to track and contain the new coronavirus.

In addition to entertainment facilities and in-door sports facilities, some auditoriums are required to adopt the QR code-based entry logs.

According to health authorities, some places designated by local governments as high risk areas are also subject to the mandatory measure.

A local government official check whether QR code-based logs are working at a karaoke establishment in Gwangju's Buk Ward, southwestern South Korea, on June 9, 2020, in this photo provided by the ward office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Visitors to the facilities have to get an one-time QR code via smartphone apps and submit it to the venue. The venue manager then scans the code and includes it in a digital customer register that can be accessed if the need arises.

For those that are unfamiliar with QR code use or refuse to use this method, venue operators will be required to keep written records of such visitors and how they can be contacted.

The measure comes as cluster infections traced to nightclubs and bars in the trendy Itaewon region of Seoul swelled in and around the capital city. As of Tuesday, a total of 277 COVID-19 cases have been linked to Itaewon.

Health authorities will conduct on-site inspections to make certain businesses comply with the toughened guidelines, with those that fail to meet requirements to be slapped with a fine of up to 3 million won (US$2,500) or ordered to suspend operations.

Besides bars and clubs, cram schools are expected to adopt QR code registers that can better protect students from viral infection.

The education ministry said the electronic log can greatly enhance the effectiveness of contact tracing and make it easier for such private educational institutions to maintain related records.

Health authorities also said religious facilities, movie theaters, hospitals and libraries across the country will be encouraged to adopt the QR code logs.


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