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13 Sep 2020 | 08:33 AM UTC

South Korea: Authorities ease social distancing for two weeks ahead of Chuseok holiday September 13 /update 33

South Korea News Alert

South Korean authorities ease social distancing for two weeks ahead of Chuseok holiday September 13; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 9/13/2020, 12:00 AM until 9/16/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Seoul). COUNTRY/REGION South Korea, Seoul

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Event

South Korean authorities announced on Sunday, September 13, that social distancing restrictions previously implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) will be eased in the Seoul metropolitan area for the next two weeks as the country celebrates the Chuseok holiday. As part of the easing, the government has lifted a ban on onsite dining after 21:00 though still requires restaurants and cafes to restrict seating and record patrons' names and contact details for tracing purposes. Health authorities have said that previous social distancing requirements will return following the holiday on September 28. 

Leisure facilities such as gyms and internet cafes are also allowed to reopen, under phase two of the country's restrictions. Indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and outdoor gatherings to 100, while spectators are banned from sporting events.

As of September 13, health authorities have confirmed a total of 22,176 COVID-19 cases with 358 associated deaths. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider. 

 

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