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Social distancing rules to be toughened starting Wednesday

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)


The government on Tuesday decided to tighten social distancing rules in Greater Seoul region -- including Gyeonggi Province and Incheon --- as part of efforts to control the sprawling COVID-19 outbreak.

“With the sense of crisis in mind that anyone can be infected at any time anywhere, I urge you to stay home as much as possible, except when it is necessary to go out –- such as commuting,” said Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun in a statement.

Starting midnight Wednesday, in-person gathering and events with more than 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors are banned. Some 12 types of at-risk businesses such as nightclubs, karaoke rooms, buffet restaurants and Internet cafes, as well as indoor public facilities will be closed.

In the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases traced to several churches, in-person worship services and church-related gatherings in the Seoul Metropolitan area – home to some 25 million people in Korea -- will only be prohibited.

Korea reported 257 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, raising the total caseload to 15,761. It reported nearly 1,000 cases for the past five days, mostly traced to churches.

By Ock Hyun-ju (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)
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