In a bid to contain the ongoing third wave of COVID-19, the South Korean government has decided to expand its ban on private gatherings of 5 or more people so it applies to the whole nation.
The strict regulation had previously applied only to Seoul and the surrounding area.
Accordingly, restaurants across the country won't be able to hold large scale new year get-togethers.
Operators who violate the rules can be fined up to two,eight-hundred U.S. dollars and visitors can be fined up to 92 dollars.
Lodging facilities including hotels, resorts and guesthouses can only receive reservations for up to two thirds of their rooms and party rooms will remain closed.
And newly added to the list of businesses to shut down are enclosed, outdoor screen golf sites.
Some restrictions have been partially lifted however.
Private cram schools in the capital area will be allowed to open, but can only have a total of nine clients present at one time.
These clients include not only students but also parents or other visitors.
And winter sports facilities such as ski resorts across the nation can operate while limiting their capacity to one-third and closing their slopes after 9 PM.
Municipal governments will not be allowed to ease regulations on their own.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.