South Korean authorities are extending the current social distancing measures for another three weeks.
However, at the same time, some of the restrictions will be eased starting from next Monday, prior to the new four-tier distancing scheme coming along in July.
The eased measures mean more people will be allowed in sports venues and concert halls.
Kim Sung-min reports.
South Korean health authorities on Friday announced that they are extending the current social distancing measures, including the ban on gatherings of five or more people which were due to end this week.
"The government will extend the current distancing levels level 2 for the capital area and 1.5 for non-capital areas -- for another three weeks from June 14th to July 4th."
While the distancing measures have been extended for the seventh straight time some restrictions will be eased from next week.
These include restrictions on sports facilities and concert halls.
Starting next Monday, outdoor sports venues like baseball parks and football stadiums in areas under level 2, can have crowds of up to 30 percent capacity, expanded from the current 10 percent.
For those in areas under level 1.5 the attendance cap of 30 percent will be eased to 50 percent.
Concert halls for both K-pop performances and musicals will be able to accommodate up to 4-thousand people.
This comes in the run-up to the upcoming new four tier social distancing scheme taking effect in July so that these venues can prepare for the lifting of some restrictions in advance.
The new social distancing scheme will allow select establishments including restaurants, cafes, singing rooms and nightlife venues in the capital area to operate until 12 AM from the current 10 PM.
For other types of small businesses, including gyms and spas, restrictions will be completely lifted.
Health authorities expect that the eased restrictions will help these businesses stay afloat amid the pandemic.
Kim Sung-min, Arirang News