Starting Thursday through January 3rd, a new set of special virus prevention measures are in effect, aimed at trying to slow the spread of the virus over Christmas and the New Year.
During this period, gatherings of 5 or more people are banned at restaurants nationwide.
Violators will be fined up to around 90 U.S. dollars.
Restaurant owners that accept a group of 5 or more people will be fined up to around 2,7-hundred dollars.
Although private gatherings of five or more people in places other than restaurants are not banned xcept for those in the Greater Seoul area the government highly advise the public to refrain from such meetings.
Authorities also explain the ban does not mean that gatherings of up to four are safe.
"This does not mean a gathering of up to four people is safe. At this time, please cancel all meetings and appointments, and understand that a meeting of 5 or more people is highly risky."
Also until January 3rd, winter sports facilities, such as skating rinks and ski resorts, as well as popular year-end tourist spots, such as Jeongdongjin Beach and Namsan Park will be closed.
Hotels and guest houses nationwide will only be allowed to have half of their rooms available for reservation.
Movie theaters must be closed after 9 PM,
and department stores and large retailers are not to offer samples of food or drinks for tasting.
Religious events, such as weekly worship, are to be held virtually, and meetings and meals organized by religious facilities are not allowed.
This new set of measures cannot be mitigated by regional governments.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.