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S. Korea to lift outdoor mask mandate starting next week

Politics 09:54 September 23, 2022

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- The government has decided to lift all outdoor mask mandates starting next week as the country is "clearly overcoming" a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, the prime minister said Friday.

Under the decision set to go into effect Monday, those at outdoor gatherings of 50 or more people, and sporting events and concerts will not be required to wear masks.

Currently, people not wearing a mask at such large outdoor events are subject to a fine.

"We are clearly overcoming a critical moment of a resurgence in COVID-19," Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said during a government response meeting. "Going forward, the government will ease low-risk anti-virus measures one by one after receiving feedback from experts."

Rules for indoor mask wearing, however, will remain in place for the time being on possible risks of seasonal influenza and a resurgence of the infectious disease, Han said.

In May, the government lifted the outdoor mask mandate for individuals but kept the mask rule for large outdoor group gatherings, such as sporting and concert events, and outdoor rallies.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo presides over a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters about measures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic at the government complex in Seoul on Sept. 23, 2022. (Yonhap)

mlee@yna.co.kr
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