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Seoul area to allow gatherings of six vaccinated people after 6 PM Updated: 2021-09-06 17:16:27 KST

South Korea is sticking with its overall distancing measures for another four weeks, but with some adjustments to allow bigger gatherings among people who are vaccinated.
Also, restaurants and cafes in the Seoul area can stay open an hour later.
Our Lee Kyung-eun is out on the street to see if things have changed.
Kyung-eun, how's it looking out there?

Hi Conn-young, you could say that the so-called vaccine incentives have been brought back.
Those who are fully vaccinated will be able to join gatherings without putting them over the limit.
In the capital region, at Level 4, only four people can meet in a group before 6 PM.
But starting today, that goes up to six people if two of them are fully vaccinated.
And even after 6 PM, when gatherings are limited to two people, that goes up to six if four are fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country remains at Level 3.
There, private gatherings are limited to four, in principle, throughout the day.
But that goes up to eight if four of them are fully vaccinated.

How are people responding to the new change?

Well, the answer to that. would be different depending on their vaccination status.
Remember, those vaccine incentives apply to those who are fully vaccinated.
And, that status applies in South Korea to only about 35 percent of the population, mostly senior citizens.
The younger population those aged 18 to 49 began getting their shots just recently, so naturally they won't really see any dramatic change yet.

"I will have to wait until mid-October for me and my friends to be fully vaccinated. So things are pretty much the same as before."

"I didn't even get my first shot. So I still can't see my friends, the same as before."

But the new rules are still welcomed by a lot of people,… coming ahead of one of the country's biggest national holidays Chuseok about two weeks from now, meaning they'll get to see more family members.
Plus, during the actual holiday period from September 17th to the 23rd, in all parts of the country, up to 8 people can meet, if four of them are fully vccinated.
Separate from the vaccine incentives, at level four, places like coffee shops, restaurants, and PC rooms can stay open for an extra hour until 10 PM.
But bars and clubs still have to stay shut.
Back to you conn-young.
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