South Korea is getting ready to announce a new set of distancing measures this coming Saturday, one day before the current two.five social distancing level comes to an end.
This comes as business owners have suffered greatly under the current measures, especially the ban on gatherings since late December.
High risk facilities, which are currently under the tightest restrictions, such as gyms, singing rooms and cram schools will reopen in stages.
On Tuesday, the country reported 537 new COVID-19 cases a slight uptick from Monday's figures.
508 of the new infections were locally transmitted with 350 of those coming from Seoul and the surrounding area.
Cluster infections at nursing hospitals and churches continue to add to the total tally.
Out of over 5,000 cases reported on the second week of January, cases linked to such facilities accounted for some twenty percent.
A total of 570 recent infections have stemmed from a Christian missionary facility in Sangju, North Gyeongsang-do Province.
All visitors have been ordered to get tested for the virus and an order banning gatherings has been issued at the center.
"Only 32.8 percent of the visitors got tested so the number could increase over time. But contact tracing is difficult. The visitors are uncontactable, some had their phones off at the time, and many have given different numbers."
One of South Korea's strengths in containing the virus mass testing will also be upgraded.
Now anyone can submit the pre-test questionnaire easily through their smartphone.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency expects the shortened process will lift the burden off medical workers and speed up the time it takes to get test results.
The electronic submission system will be expanded to all screening centers nationwide.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.