Korea Eases Social Distancing Rules as Virus Cases Drop

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South Korea is relaxing its social distancing rules, allowing longer opening hours for some retail businesses, as the number of new infections declines.

Restaurants, coffee shops and gyms outside the capital Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi province will now be permitted to stay open until 10 p.m., Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said at a meeting on Saturday. Karaoke bars, theaters for standing concerts and door-to-door sales will be also allowed in the region.

The rules were eased to “relieve pains of self-employed people,” including owners of restaurants and small businesses, Chung said.

The 9 p.m. closing time will still apply in the greater Seoul area, where 70% of total virus cases in the country have occurred.

Korea Eases Social Distancing Rules as Virus Cases Drop

Daily virus cases in Korea dropped to about 300 in the past week, compared with more than 1,000 in late December, after authorities imposed a stricter level of social distancing.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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