South Korea reported 671 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday of which 644 were local transmissions.
This is a slight drop from 700 cases day before, but the general trend recently has been upward.
(Korean - )
"The average daily caseload for the past week has been at 555 which could be a sign of the beginning of a fourth wave. The R number has surpassed 1 hinting that the wave will continue to grow."
Considering this, many were bracing for heightened social distancing measures, but the government has decided to keep the status quo for another three weeks starting next Monday.
Currently the capital region and the city of Busan have a distancing level of two, and the rest of the country is at level one.five.
But there are some adjustments to the distancing measures.
(KOREAN - )
''Nightlife venues in the capital region and Busan will be closed as according to social distancing level two. Singing rooms, gyms, restaurants, and cafes will operate as things are now, but the allowed hours could be shortened to 9 PM at any time necessary."
In addition the Prime Minister said anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 is required to take a test as there are many silent carriers who are yet to be spotted.
Also, some patients have refused to take a test despite doctors and authorities' recommendations. The authorities say if anyone refuses a test at first and is later confirmed, that person will be penalized and won't receive any monetary support for the treatment.
This is the first time the length of distancing measures has been set at three weeks, but the health authorities said that as the situation is unlikely to ease soon, this was a necessary step.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.