South Korea’s ban on private gatherings of five or more continues during the Lunar New Year holiday.
It even applies to family members, unless they actually live together in the same house.
For instance, a young couple with a child can't visit their parents as that would make five people in total.
But one exception is, when you have “temporarily” left your parents' home, but still have that home as your permanent address.
Other exceptions include when a family member needs to take care of elderly or disabled relatives.
Or, when a family member is close to death.
Due to the 5-person rule means, Seollal’s most important tradition, Sebae, or performing a ritual bow for one's elders, will have to go non-contact.
"Grandmother, grandfather, happy new year."
"You too, always be safe and stay healthy. We will send you pocket money to your mom."
"Sorry I can't visit this year due to COVID-19."
Others are sending pre-recorded greetings.
And 'Sebaet Don' the pocket money that children usually get after bowing is also being sent online.
Violators of the 5-person rule could be fined up to 90 U.S. dollars per person.
But the government says, checking every house is virtually impossible.
So it is urging the public to voluntarily follow the rules.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.