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PM calls for maintaining daily social distancing as new quarantine scheme begins


South Korea's prime minister called on citizens Wednesday to thoroughly maintain social distancing in their daily lives as the country began to relax quarantine rules amid a declining number of new coronavirus infections.

After the implementation of strict social distancing measures for six weeks, the government began to switch to an "everyday life quarantine" scheme Wednesday to allow people to carry out social and economic activities under quarantine rules.

"We should bear in mind that reopening schools and boosting the economy will be possible only when practicing social distancing takes root as daily routine," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said at a meeting on the government's response to COVID-19.

Chung described the new scheme as the "minimum" steps that should be taken in order for even a limited return to normalcy.

"The government unveiled details about social distancing guidelines as part of daily routines. But it is of no use if people do not implement them in daily lives" he said.

The education ministry announced Friday it will gradually reopen schools starting on March 13 with high school seniors first attending classes.

The operation of state-run museums and libraries will resume starting Wednesday as well, in line with government social distancing guidelines. (Yonhap)

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