Starting Monday, South Korea will enact a new set of anti-virus measures, announced Friday, to fight the latest surge in COVID-19 cases.
For the next four weeks, private gatherings in the capital region will be limited to 6 down from the previous 10 while in other areas, it'll go down from the current 12 to just eight.
Gatherings can include only one person who's not vaccinated.
For example, in a gathering of 6 people in Seoul, at least 5 must be fully vaccinated, and the remaining one can either be vaccinated or not.
This also means someone who is unvaccinated will be allowed in places like restaurants, cafes, and movie theaters if he or she goes alone.
This rule will apply to most facilities after a grace period of one week, meaning it will be enforced from December 13th.
But this will not be required at venues where it's hard to check a user's vaccination status such as at weddings, funerals and department stores.
South Korea on Sunday reported 5,128 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to over 473-thousand.
New cases were down slightly from the all-time high of 5,352 recorded the previous day mostly due to fewer tests.
The number of critically ill patients dropped by eight from a day ago to 744 and 43 more people died of the virus, raising the death toll to 3,852.
Health officials are on high alert as hospitals in the capital region are running out of beds in intensive care units.
As of Saturday afternoon, ICU beds were 91 percent occupied in both Seoul and Incheon… and 79 percent occupied in Gyeonggi-do Province.
Meanwhile, the country also confirmed three new cases of the Omicron variant, raising the total now to 12.
And officials say suspected cases of Omicron continue to be reported.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.