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Toughened anti-infection measures in store for churches

All News 16:01 July 08, 2020

SEOUL, July 8 (Yonhap) -- Churches will be required to use QR-code based entry logs and other toughened infection preventive measures as the country tries to stem new coronavirus outbreaks tied to religious facilities, public health authorities said Wednesday.

The entry logs for churchgoers will be implemented from Friday, with churches barred from hosting small meetings, like bible classes and choir practices, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.

The measures came as a series of cluster infections traced to religious gatherings have popped up recently, straining the country's efforts to contain virus spread.

This file photo shows a pastor conducting a live-streamed church service. (Yonhap)

"Churches will be obligated to adhere to strict preventive rules that include keeping records of all worshipers," Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip said during a regular briefing. The records can make it easier to track people who may have been exposed to the virus.

Currently, a QR code-based registration system has been implemented for all entertainment establishments, such as bars and clubs, as well as private academies, logistics centers and some restaurants.

Health authorities said any violators can be fined upwards of 3 million won (US$2,510) with churches that fail to follow safety rules subject to temporary closure.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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