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Police to crack down on unauthorized entertainment facilities

43 violations of quarantine measures found over 2-week long period in early January

Police officers and government officials bust an unauthorized entertainment facility in Gyeonggi Province on Jan. 16. (The Ministry of Interior and Safety)
Police officers and government officials bust an unauthorized entertainment facility in Gyeonggi Province on Jan. 16. (The Ministry of Interior and Safety)
Police will start cracking down on unauthorized entertainment facilities that hinder quarantine efforts in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the National Police Agency said Sunday.

Starting Monday, police will team up with local governments across the country and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety for a 3-week long special inspection period.

As the government’s ban on gatherings at five types of entertainment facilities such as bars and pubs still remains in effect, the police said, the nationwide crackdown will focus such unauthorized bars and pubs that are registered and run as normal restaurants to bring in customers.

Earlier this month, the police busted a restaurant that installed a DJ booth, sound equipment and special lighting system and operated as a club for pre-registered customers in Seoul’s Gangnam.

The police also caught a karaoke that illegally sold liquor to pre-registered customers behind the closed doors in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province.

These were two of the 43 cases of quarantine measure violations at the banned entertainment facilities from January 4 to 17, according to police.

After conducting on-site inspections at 16,239 facilities across the country, the police said a total of 348 people have been busted with 296 facing police investigations.

The National Police Agency held a nationwide videoconference with local police stations last week to discuss the recent reports and cases of illegal operation and how to prevent or catch them.

“The targeted facilities for the crackdown have caused a public outcry as they violate the gathering ban and remain in operation, causing damage for others who follow the quarantine measures,” The National Police Agency said in a press release.

“The National Police Agency will crack down on them with strict punishments because these unlawful operations cause severe interference with anti-virus efforts,” the police said.

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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