The following measures were prepared to strengthen social distancing to prevent the spread of infection among the unvaccinated, who account for half of the severe and fatal cases, and to minimize personal contact to eliminate overall risk factors for society.
The purpose of this measure is to secure time while ensuring more people get their third dose of vaccines and expanding healthcare capacity, and to reduce severe/critical cases and deaths, to create a basis for the continuation of the Gradual Recovery to a New Normal.
This enhanced social distancing measure is implemented for 16 days from December 18 (Sat) to January 2 (Sun).
The number of people per private gathering is adjusted to reduce interpersonal physical contact, in consideration of seasonal tendencies such as holiday gatherings and parties and increased indoor activities due to cold weather.
Prior to this measure, up to 6 people were allowed per gathering in Seoul Metropolitan Area and up to 8 people for the rest of the country. This will be adjusted to 4 people per gathering nationwide regardless of vaccination status.
Exceptions such as for household members and caregivers (for children, elderly, the disabled, etc.) will continue to apply.
As for restaurants and cafes, which are vaccine pass-required facilities but allowed one unvaccinated person per each gathering to account for the necessity of such facilities to secure food for certain population, the new rule will require the vaccine pass for every member of any private gathering; however, an unvaccinated individual will be able to dine alone at a restaurant or cafe.
Non-vaccinated individuals who are not PCR-negative, under the age of 18, recovered, or unable to be vaccinated, will be able to dine in restaurants and cafes alone or use take-out and delivery services.
Operating hours of public-use facilities will be limited nationwide, in light of the increased risk of transmission during late night hours due to the tendencies for drinking and drinking-related activities to take place with higher risk of unmasking and droplet dispersion.
Under the new rule, all public-use facilities nationwide will have to close at 21:00 or 22:00 for the next two weeks.
Group 1 (entertainment facilities, etc.) and Group 2 (restaurants, cafes, singing centers, bathhouses, indoor sports facilities) facilities will be required to close by 21:00.
Group 3 and some other facilities (movie theaters/performance halls, arcades, multi-rooms, casinos, PC rooms, academies*, massage rooms, party rooms) will be required to close by 22:00.
*In the case of private academies/institutes, the operating hours are limited to until 22:00 only for lifelong vocational education institutes.
Types and status of public-use facilities:
ㅇ (Group 1) About 40,000 places including entertainment facilities, collaboratories, etc.
ㅇ (Group 2) About 960,000 places including restaurants and cafes, singing practice areas, bathhouse businesses, and indoor sports facilities
ㅇ (Group 3) About 1.05 million places including private academies, movie theaters and performance halls, PC rooms, and reading rooms
ㅇ (Other) About 130,000 including racetracks, party rooms, kids cafes, massage parlors, etc.
The size restrictions for large large-scale events and assemblies are as follows:
Currently, events and assemblies with fewer than 100 people can be held regardless of vaccination status, and if there are more than 100 people, up to 499 people if all participants are fully vaccinated (or exceptions such as PCR-negative, under 18, recovered, or unable to be vaccinated).
With the new temporary rule in place, events and assemblies can include up to 50 people regardless of vaccination status, and up to 299 people if all participants are fully vaccinated.
Events with more than 300 people (limited to non-regular concerts, sports competitions, and festivals) are prohibited in principle, but as before, they can be held exceptionally with prior approval from the relevant ministries, and events will not be approved for the next two weeks in account of the serious situation.
The vaccine pass will now apply to events with over 50 people related to official duties and essential business activities such as shareholders’ meetings and broadcast production, which were previously excluded from the application of the vaccine pass.
The vaccine pass will now also apply to exhibitions, expositions, and international conferences, which were previously managed under separate rules, if there are more than 50 people.
In the case of weddings, as before, either the ① general event rule or ② previous rule (49 people + 201 fully vaccinated = total 250 people) can be selected and applied, with the general event rule strengthened as described above.
Plans for religious facilities will be announced at a later date due to the need for additional review.
The density of all schools in the Seoul metropolitan area and overcrowded schools in other areas are adjusted to 2/3, but with flexibility allowed for each region and school in consideration of local situations.
Businesses are encouraged to reduce density in workplaces by promoting telecommuting, staggering commute hours, and using video conferencing as a general rule.
Public institutions will be instructed to cancel or delay face-to-face events and refrain from gatherings and banquets in accordance with the enhanced social distancing.
// For inquiries contact Media Relations, Ministry of Health and Welfare (email@example.com)
Related: http://www.mohw.go.kr/react/al/sal0301vw.jsp?PAR_MENU_ID=04&MENU_ID=0403&page=3&CONT_SEQ=368947 (Korean)
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