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South Korea to maintain toughened social distancing rules for two more weeks

All News 09:09 August 06, 2021

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will extend its tough social distancing restrictions for two more weeks, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum announced Friday, as the country struggles to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The measure to ban private gatherings of more than two people after 6 p.m., including in restaurants, will remain in place in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and the western port city of Incheon through Aug. 22, he said during an interagency meeting.

The highest of the nation's four-tier coronavirus prevention system, effective in the Seoul metropolitan area, was slated to expire this weekend. The other parts of the country have been under Level 3 guidelines.

Kim said it was not easy for the government to make the decision to extend the Level 4 social distancing system in the capital area and the Level 3 in other areas, as small businesses have long suffered difficulties due to social distancing rules.

"For now, however, coronavirus control and prevention is a priority," he stated, adding it is a way to improve the livelihoods of the people.

He warned the government will never tolerate illicit street rallies reportedly scheduled on the occasion of the Aug. 15 Liberation Day.

Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum speaks during an interagency meeting on COVID-19 at the government office complex in Seoul on Aug. 6, 2021. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr
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