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Greater Seoul area postpones eased social distancing scheme for one week Updated: 2021-07-01 17:38:26 KST

The capital region's abrupt decision to postpone implementing the new social distancing scheme has caught everyone by surprise.
We have our Han Seong-woo live in Yeonnam-dong, one of Seoul's busiest commercial districts.
Seong-woo, how are the people of Seoul reacting to the one week delay?

Conn-young, up until about 4 PM yesterday, everyone in the city was looking forward to the revised social distancing guidelines that finally would've allowed them to hold larger private gatherings, dine out until midnight and even go clubbing.
Their hopes came crashing down, though, so you can only imagine how frustrated some were over the delay.

"I agree with social distancing but I'm doubtful over whether this really has an effect on preventing the spread of the virus."

There were many others who agreed with the decision though, calling it necessary.
As for small business owners, the reversal brings an extra week of financial struggles.
And one week might become two, then four, and before you know it, months.
Less foot traffic and limited hours simply translate to lower sales and less income.

"It was the right thing to do We've persevered until now so I believe we can endure this for a bit longer."

"I've given up now really. Like I said, I think it's going to be extended again. It's beyond disappointment, I've simply given up."

I see.
Well, the postponement does come amid a recent spike in COVID-19 infections.
Not to mention the threat of the Delta variant.

Very true.
Yeonnam-dong where I'm standing is actually very near the site of a recent cluster infection in Mapo-gu District connected to an outbreak at several English cram schools in Gyeonggi-do Province where the Delta variant was detected.
Just when authorities thought infections would drop with millions of the elderly now vaccinated, cases rose once again.
The reversal came after Seoul reported some 370 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, its most this year, leading many to fear a resurgence is looming.
If the situation doesn't get better, officials may push the social distancing level up to level 3.
As a precaution, Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do Province are cracking down on businesses violating prevention measures through on-site inspections over the next two weeks.
Under the zero-tolerance policy, repeated violations can result in all businesses of the same industry in a certain area to be shut down so owners and visitors must remain vigilant.
That's all I have for this newscast.
Back to you Conn-young.
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