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7 in 10 Koreans support stricter social distancing measures: poll

Politics 14:50 December 20, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 20 (Yonhap) -- Slightly over 70 percent of South Koreans approve of toughened social distancing measures to stem the resurgence of COVID-19, a poll showed Monday.

In the poll of 1,000 adults nationwide organized by multiple civic groups, 71.3 percent supported the government's decision to halt the "living with COVID-19" scheme this past Saturday for two weeks and restore stricter social distancing measures.

Under the new policy, the maximum number of people at private gatherings was reduced to four and a 9 p.m. curfew was imposed on restaurants and cafes.

People wait in a long line to take coronavirus tests at a testing station in Seoul Plaza in central Seoul on Dec. 20, 2021. (Yonhap)

The poll was conducted by pollster Research View from Dec. 14-18 at the request of the Asian Citizen's Center for Environment and Health (ACCEH) and 28 other civic groups and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

In a similar survey carried out in April last year, as many as 94.5 percent of respondents said social distancing must be strengthened to prevent the spread of COVID-19, indicating that public support for strict quarantine policies may have waned as the coronavirus situation has continued for nearly two years.

In addition, the people's positive evaluation of the government's quarantine policy has remarkably fallen from 75.9 percent in April last year to 49.6 percent lately.

The ACCEH said the latest poll appears to reveal growing public fatigue and concern about the prolonged COVID-19 situation and negative public evaluations of the outgoing government's policies.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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