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Koreans in 20s least strict about social distancing: survey


South Koreans in their 20s are the most complacent about social distancing even though the age group makes up the largest proportion of confirmed COVID-19 patients, a survey showed Monday.

The survey on public awareness of the novel coronavirus conducted by Hankook Research found that respondents in their 20s were less likely to limit time spent outdoors.

About 70 percent of respondents in this age group said they were holding back on outdoor activities, compared to the overall average of 77 percent, the survey showed.

Some 61 percent of respondents in their 20s replied that they were refraining from using public transportation, about 11 percentage points lower than the average of roughly 72 percent for all age groups combined, the survey found.

The nationwide survey was conducted March 25-27 and was commissioned by a team led by professor You Myung-soon of the Graduate School of Public Health at Seoul National University. The team questioned 1,000 men and 1,000 women aged 18 or over.

The results of the survey, which suggest that people in their 20s are returning to their usual routines amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, stand in sharp contrast to the results of a survey conducted in late February, which showed that respondents in their 20s were more vigilant about avoiding the outdoors compared to the overall average.

The survey done in late March also found that respondents in their 20s had a greater tendency to wear masks.

About 96 percent of people in this age group answered that they “often” or “always” wore protective gear, about 3 percentage points higher than the overall average of some 93 percent, according to the survey.

By Kim Bo-gyung (