SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul metropolitan government will begin imposing fines of 100,000 won (US$88) on those who do not wear face masks in public next week, a measure aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
Enforcement of mandatory mask wearing will begin Nov. 13 after a one-month trial period, officials said.
Exceptions will be made for children under the age of 14, the disabled and those diagnosed with a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to breathe through a mask.
All others can also get a 20 percent reduction if they provide a reason for the violation by a deadline.
The city government said it will enforce the rule on a wider scale than required by the central government, including at internet cafes and movie theaters.
The five main areas of enforcement will be multiuse facilities subject to restrictions on assembly, public transportation, demonstration and rally sites, medical facilities and nursing homes.
Of the multiuse facilities, the rule will apply to not only bars, karaoke rooms and buffet restaurants that are limited-entry establishments under the government's Level 1 social distancing guidelines, but also 16 "medium-risk" facilities including private academies, arcades, houses of worship and indoor wedding halls.
"The purpose is not to levy fines but to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following social distancing guidelines," a city government official said, adding that offenders will be given a warning before they are issued a fine.
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