South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Friday announced that the current social distancing guidelines would be extended by two more weeks, to stay in place until March 14th.
The government has also decided to extend the ban on gatherings of five or more people, and the restrictions on small business operating hours for two more weeks.
"There are sporadic cluster infections still popping up in our daily lives. The infectious reproduction index has exceeded one for two consecutive weeks, and an increase in outdoor activities as the new spring semester begins is also a risk factor. Coronavirus variants are also cause for concern. The vaccine rollout has begun across the country, but we have to go a long way to achieve herd immunity."
The greater Seoul area is currently under Level 2 social distancing measures, and the rest of the country is under Level 1.5 measures.
These measures have been in place since February 15th, following the Korean Lunar New Year holiday in the second week of February.
They were scheduled to end on February 28th, but have now been extended.
Meanwhile, new virus cases nudged slightly above 400 on Friday.
The country reported 406 new cases on Friday, slight more than the 396 reported the previous day.
Of the daily new cases, three-hundred-82 were locally transmitted and 24 were from overseas.
This now brings the country's total caseload to 88,922.
Most of the recent infections were from the greater Seoul area.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.