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Current social distancing level extended for 2 weeks, special quarantine period for lunar new year season Updated: 2021-01-16 15:10:20 KST

South Korea has extended the current social distancing level for two more weeksbut lifted restrictions on some businesses, including gyms and cafes.
Our Kim Dami has more.
To tame the further spread of the virus, South Korea's current level two.five social distancing measures will remain in place in the capital region for the next two weeks.
The same goes for the level two social distancing in the rest of the country.
Plus, private gatherings larger than four will still be banned both indoors and outdoors.
All businesses must shut down at 9 PM.
But some multi-use facilities like gyms, singing rooms, and private academies will be allowed to resume operations under strict quarantine measures.
For instance, a one-person per eight square meters rule will be applied to those sites.
Churches will be able to hold in-person worship at around ten percent of their seating capacity in the greater Seoul area and 20 percent for the non-metropolitan area.
"The government has reasonably revised the rules for places like cafes and religious facilities where there are many voices that quarantine standards were too excessive."
The extended quarantine period will be in effect starting next Monday.
But party rooms will remain closed.
Lodging facilities, including hotels, can only take reservations for up to two-thirds of rooms.
The prime minister added that the vaccination process set to begin next month would support the quarantine measures.
Despite the eased restrictions, the country's quarantine efforts will continue throughout the upcoming lunar new year holiday season.
"Considering a large number of nationwide family gatherings are expected during the lunar new year holidays, the government has designated February first to the 14th as a special quarantine period."
The government further urged citizens not to travel but instead, turn to non-contact methods for greetings during the period.
On Saturday, South Korea added 580 new cases, staying under the six hundred mark for five straight days.
With 19 new deaths, the death toll now stands at 1-thousand 2-hundred and 36.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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