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S. Korea releases new social distancing guidelines on Friday
Updated: 2021-10-15 10:12:32 KST
A slightly revised framework of COVID-19 prevention measures HAS been disclosed by authorities on this Friday and Shin Ye-eun is here with details.
Welcome.

Glad to be here Sunny.

So tell us about the revisions in restrictions which are slated to go into effect next week right?

Not too much has changed.
They have extended the current measures for another two weeks
meaning that the greater Seoul area is under level four and areas outside the capital are under level three.
But what did change was the limit on the number of people allowed to gather after 6 pm.
First in the greater Seoul area up to a maximum of 8 people can meet, regardless of whether they meet before or after 6 PM.
Of the eight, four have to be fully vaccinated.
In areas outside the capital, under level three restrictions, people can meet in groups of up to 10as long as six people are fully vaccinated.
Also business hours have been extended for certain venues in areas outside the capital region.
Restaurants and cafes will be open till midnight.
In the metropolitan area, only study cafes, performance halls and movie theaters will be allowed to operate until midnight, from the previous 10 pm limit.

Restrictions on how many people can attend weddings or sports games have also been eased, centering on those who have been fully vaccinated.
Sports games like baseball and soccer didn't allow spectators in stadiums at regions under level four.
Now stadiums will open up, and indoor venues will be allowed to fill 20 percent of their capacity with vaccinated spectators only.
Outdoors stadiums meanwhile will be allowed to operate at nearly one-third of their capacity.
As for weddings, a total of 2-hundred 50 people can attend regardless of whether or not meals are provided.
Of which 49 people have to be fully vaccinated.
For teams sports, the minimum number of players required to play a certain sport will determine the size of gatherings allowed.
Players will be able to compete as long as they've tested negative for COVID-19, even if they haven't been vaccinated.

Friday's guidelines will work as a bridge for the country to smoothly transition to next month's COVID-19 exit strategy, of "living with COVID-19", where authorities will focus on the number of deaths and patients in critical condition rather than total caseloads.

SO these latest social distancing guidelines will be the last before we embark on a phased return to normality?

Hopefully yes
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said that he hopes the measures introduced on Friday will be the final ones before the country eases even more restrictions from November.
Take a listen.

"I really hope this will be the last adjustment before we start to gradually return to our daily lives as promised in November. We have some 15 days left before taking the step of returning to normal. This is our last hurdle. We ask everyone to continue cooperating with the measures and get vaccinated."

The Prime Minister said authorities are still on the lookout for a potential uptick in cases following the three-day weekend for Hangeul Day on October 9th.
And with many sight-seers traveling around the country to enjoy the autumn leaves.
But he remained optimistic that with higher vaccination rates the number of new cases are likely to drop.

Thank you for now Ye-eun.
Stay with us for extensive talks with Soa.
Reporter : graceshin@arirang.com