SEOUL, Aug 6 — South Korea decided on Friday to extend its toughest social-distancing rules in the capital area for two more weeks amid the continued resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Level 4 social-distancing guideline, the highest in the country’s four-tier quarantine rules, will be kept in place in Seoul, its surrounding Gyeonggi province and the western port city of Incheon for two more weeks until Aug 22, South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum announced.
It came as the COVID-19 resurgence here showed no signs of letup. In the latest tally, the country reported 1,704 more cases of COVID-19 for the past 24 hours, raising the total number of infections to 207,406, according to Xinhua.
The daily caseload was down from 1,776 in the previous day, but it hovered above 1,000 for 31 straight days. The daily average tally for the past week was 1,515.
The recent resurgence was attributable to cluster infections in the greater Seoul area.
Of the new cases, 460 were Seoul residents. The number of people residing in Gyeonggi province and Incheon who tested positive were 451 and 101 respectively.
Under the Level 4 guideline, the gathering of as many as four people is allowed while any private gathering of three or more people is banned after 6.00 pm local time in the metropolitan area.
Risky entertainment facilities, including night clubs, are prohibited from running business for the two weeks. All the other multi-use facilities, such as restaurants and cafes, are allowed to open until 10.00 pm.
The virus spread also raged in the non-metropolitan area. The number of newly infected people in the non-capital region was 628, or 38.3 per cent of the total local transmission.
In the non-capital areas, the Level 3 social-distancing guideline will be maintained until Aug 22.
Under the Level 3 rules, any private gathering of five or more people is prohibited, and multi-used facilities can be run until 10.00 pm.