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S. Koreans call off year-end plans amid intense virus prevention measures Updated: 2020-12-24 06:09:55 KST

The South Korean government is cracking down on holiday travel in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Its nationwide measures requiring hotels and resorts to limit their occupancy rates to 50% come into effect on Thursday and last until January third.
The measures are leaving many holiday goers with no choice but to cancel their plans.

"It's been rough for hotels all year, but with Christmas and New Year's just around the corner, occupancy rates looked to be increasing Then SUDDENLY, the 50 percent regulation kicks in plunging all hotels into chaos."

Airports are unusually quiet compared to previous winters as many have opted not to head to tourist hotspots such as Jeju Island and Busan.

"In any other year, Gimpo International Airport would already be packed with people traveling for their Christmas holidays. 2020's a little different though as COVID-19 and travel restrictions have seen tourist numbers drop considerably."

Some in Seoul who had plans to simply drive out to the outskirts of the city and enjoy the long weekends have also chosen to stay put.

"My friend and I canceled our lodging reservation in Namyangju It was just scary not knowing who might use the facility before we do."

Private year-end get-togethers at so-called "party rooms", once thought of as a last chance for some holiday fun, are also now out of the question.
These venues will be closed nationwide as part of the year-end restrictions.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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