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S. Korea set to implement mandatory mask use

All News 09:34 October 12, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- Poeple will be required to wear face masks on mass transportation and in public places starting Tuesday to help better combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The requirement is in line with the implementation of the country's infectious disease control and prevention act aimed at stemming the spread of the flu-like virus, officials said.

If people do not wear masks on public transportation and at demonstrations, as well as medical and care facilities, they will face a fine of up to 100,000 won (US$87).

Operators of those facilities and rally organizers will be fined up to 3 million won for failing to ensure that users or participants comply with the requirement.

S. Korea set to implement mandatory mask use - 1

However, people aged under 14 and those who are unable to wear masks due to medical conditions will be exempted from the requirement. People will also be allowed to skip masks in special cases, such as when they are washing their faces, eating or swimming.

The fine could also be imposed on people who wear masks under their noses in such spaces. Scarves or certain types of masks that cannot protect others from the virus will not be allowed under the obligation.

Public places subject to the obligation will depend on levels under South Korea's three-tier social distancing scale.

The government plans to start imposing fines on violators after a 30-day grace period starting Tuesday.

Local governments will be allowed to adjust the scope of places subject to mandatory mask use, depending on their coronavirus situations.

South Korea's new coronavirus cases hovered below 100 for the fourth consecutive day Sunday, adding 58 more COVID-19 cases. The country's total caseload came to 24,606, with the death toll reaching 432.

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