Passengers board buses Sunday at the Seoul Express Bus Terminal ahead of the Chuseok holiday period starting Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Highway rest stops will only serve takeaway customers starting Tuesday under special measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus during the Chuseok holidays.
The Korea Expressway Corp. said Monday that all of its highway rest areas would discontinue eat-in services for six days until Oct. 4 as part of efforts to minimize the chances of coronavirus transmission.
Entrances and exits will be strictly separated, while temperature checks will be required before entry to restrooms or indoor shops.
The rest stops will also run phone call check-in services, in which visiting customers call a designated number to register themselves in a digital visitor log instead of filling out the information in an actual log book.
Highway toll fees, usually waived during Chuseok, will be collected as usual Wednesday through Friday as the government seeks to minimize traffic during the holiday.
Toll fees had been waived for the Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays since 2017. Money collected during this year’s Chuseok will be used to support the disinfection of rest and service areas, the company said.
The Transport Ministry predicted that the number of Chuseok travelers would fall 30 percent from last year to 27.59 million but still expects highways to be clogged as people prefer to travel in their own vehicles, shunning public transportation in fear of the virus.
Chuseok congestion is expected to peak Wednesday morning and Saturday afternoon.
By Ko Jun-tae (firstname.lastname@example.org