From next week, the government has decided to lift most of the social distancing measures, such as completely lifting restrictions on the number of private gatherings and business hours for restaurants and cafes.

Events and gatherings can be held without limiting the number of people, and it is possible to eat and drink in movie theaters and performance halls.

A government official said today (14th), "The decrease in new cases of COVID-19 is evident and the distance is hardly effective, so we have decided to lift most of the restrictions." We decided to remove the restrictions,” he said.

According to the current social distancing, private gatherings can be held for up to 10 people, and the business hours of 13 multi-use facilities classified as high-risk facilities for COVID-19, such as restaurants, cafes, entertainment facilities, and karaoke rooms, are until midnight.

When social distancing is lifted, gatherings with no limit on the number of people are possible, and restaurants, etc. can be open 24 hours a day.

Currently, events and assemblies can be held with a maximum of 299 people regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, and irregular performances, sports competitions, and festivals with more than 300 people must be approved by the relevant ministries, but the limit will be removed in the future.

It is currently prohibited to eat and drink while taking off a mask in indoor movie theaters and performance halls, but it will be allowed from next week.

The timing of lifting the mandatory outdoor mask is still under discussion within the government.

The government has considered removing most of the outdoor mask obligations from next week and maintaining the obligation to wear only at high-risk gatherings and events, such as concerts and large-scale events, where saliva can spread rapidly.

However, it is known that the Presidential Transition Committee is reviewing the application timing as it has ordered a careful lifting of quarantine related to masks.

The government's intention to lift most of the distancing measures is based on the judgment that the prevalence of Omicron mutations has clearly entered a decline.

In a briefing today, the quarantine authorities said, "It is judged that Corona 19 has completely passed its peak, and the authorities and researchers predict that the current decline in the epidemic will continue for a while." We need to switch to a management system,” he said.

The government will finally make the final decision on the adjustment of the distance at the main headquarters meeting tomorrow (15th) and announce the details through a briefing.

(Photo = Yonhap News)