After two weeks under the strictest level of distancing in the capital region, the measures have been extended by another two weeks starting next Monday.
"From July 26th to August 8th, the capital region will be under Level 4 distancing measures for two weeks."
Under Level 4 the highest in the country's four-tier scheme gatherings are limited to four people until 6 PM, and only two people after 6.
And restaurants and cafes must close by 10.
There will be some new measures too.
The gathering rules will apply to sports, which previously had been exempt.
So games cannot involve more than 4 people before 6 PM.
Also, staff at exhibitions and conferences have to get a PCR test, and visitors have to make a reservation in advance to attend.
Weddings and funerals are limited to 49 people, but the previous rule on "family and relatives only" has been lifted.
The decision to extend the rules comes as the capital region has seen no meaningful decline in cases the daily average this week lower than last week's by only 30 cases.
And on Friday, the capital area alone had more than a thousand cases, which put the nationwide total at over 16-hundred.
The authorities attribute the lack of progress to the FAST SPREAD of the more transmissible Delta variant.
It now accounts for more than 34 percent of the samples analyzed, a drastic jump from around 3 percent in late June.
By extending the measures in the capital area, the government's goal is to bring the daily nationwide total to below one thousand.
"If we don't reach the desired goal in two weeks, we will consider imposing tougher restrictions on more facilities and on the operating hours of businesses."
But that would also depend on how the situation unfolds in other regions, especially at summer hotspots, where there's been an alarming surge.
The authorities have decided to strengthen measures there too and will announce the details by Sunday.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.