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Seoul city asks food businesses to avoid delivery to riverside parks amid COVID-19 woes

All News 16:29 September 09, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 9 (Yonhap) -- Seoul city government said Wednesday it has asked local foodservice businesses to refrain from accepting delivery orders to Han River parks to help contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The request to the Korea Foodservice Industry Association and food delivery companies was made to minimize food deliveries to the riverside parks until Sunday, when stricter social distancing measures in the greater Seoul area are scheduled to end.

The country is currently under a Level 2.5 measure following a resurgence of COVID-19 in mid-August. Under the measure, restaurants and small eateries are only allowed to offer takeout and delivery from 9 p.m. Franchise coffee chains, bakeries and ice cream parlors can run only takeout and delivery all day long.

People gather along the banks of the Han River that flows through Seoul, on Sept. 8, 2020. The Seoul metropolitan government has not prevented people from using the numerous parks and picnic areas, but has closed off some popular sections, as part of strict social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. (Yonhap)

The anti-virus measure, however, has prompted more people to visit Han River parks. The number of visitors jumped 40 percent on-year as people who lost access to indoor venues gathered at the parks.

On Tuesday, the city government restricted entry to some crowded areas of the park, including two squares at Yeouido Han River Park, parts of Ttukseom Park, and two picnic zones at Banpo Han River Park, starting from Tuesday night. Shops and cafes inside the parks must close at 9 p.m.

Despite the measure, some people were seen at the park at night and using food deliveries, raising concerns over COVID-19 infections.

"Even outdoor spaces are not free from the risk of infection if people talk or eat together without wearing face masks," said Park Yoo-mi, the city's director of public health, urging people to follow the social distancing rules and refrain from meeting, drinking, eating in the riverside parks.

A sign banning entry into parks along the Han River in Seoul is set up at a park on Sept. 8, 2020, in accordance with the government's toughened social distancing rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Yonhap)


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