Hamdeok Beach on Jeju Island looks quieter than usual on Monday, one day before the toughest Level 4 social distancing rules take effect on the southern resort island. Jeju's 12 public beaches, including Hamdeok, remain closed until Aug. 29 under the new rules. (Yonhap)
The toughest Level 4 social distancing rules went into effect on the southern resort island of Jeju on Wednesday, as authorities struggle to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19 among tourists and residents.
The Jeju provincial government said the Level 4 scheme, up one notch from the previous Level 3, will be enforced throughout the island until Aug. 29, imposing strict restraints on people's gatherings and activities.
Under the new rules, private gatherings of up to two people are allowed after 6 p.m. and up to four people before 6 p.m. For instance, three or more people, excluding family members living together, are prohibited from traveling by a rental car or staying together in an accommodation.
All 12 public beaches and 498 elderly welfare facilities on the island will remain closed during the Level 4 period.
Multi-use facilities, including restaurants and cafes, are allowed to operate until 10 p.m. and 1,035 adult entertainment facilities, including bars, clubs and singing rooms, are ordered closed temporarily. Restaurants and cafes can serve only takeout and delivery from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The government said businesses and customers caught violating the Level 4 rules will be fined up to 3 million won (US$2,550) and up to 100,000 won, respectively.
Jeju reported 290 confirmed COVID-19 cases for the past week, or a daily average of 41.43.
At present, the greater Seoul area, the southern port city of Busan, the central city of Daejeon and several other provincial cities are under Level 4 social distancing restrictions. (Yonhap)