South Korea reported another 16-hundred new coronavirus cases today a decline as usual on the weekend.
But overall, case numbers have not come down significantly, even under the highest level of social distancing.
So those measures have been extended and strengthened.
Min Suk-hyen reports.
South Korea on Sunday reported 1,628 new COVID-19 cases, falling below two-thousand for the second day.
Of the new cases, all but 38 were locally transmitted.
This brings the country's total caseload to more than 236-thousand.
13 more deaths were also reported, raising the death toll to over 2,200.
Compared to the number a week earlier, Sunday's tally represents a decline of 188 cases.
It's also 252 fewer than Saturday.
But this is in large part due to fewer tests being done over the weekend and perhaps even due to Saturday's heavy rain.
The greater Seoul area has been under the strictest social distancing measures for six weeks now.
But that has not slowed down the virus, so health officials have decided to extend and strengthen these measures for two weeks more until September 5th.
"From Monday, social distancing measures will be extended for another two weeks. The government is well aware that many people are experiencing economic and social difficulties. While it is regrettable, we have no choice but to extend the rules at this time."
For areas at Level 4, from Monday, cafes and restaurants will have to close by 9 PM, one hour earlier than before and 10 PM for areas under Level 3.
After that time, they can only offer takeaway and delivery.
Also, there will still be a ban on private gatherings of more than four people before 6 PM.
After six, only two people can meet, but there can be up to four, if two of the party are fully vaccinated.
For regions at Level 3, gatherings are limited to four people, but more may be allowed if they are fully vaccinated.
So far, with the exception of Jeju Island, the capital area, and the cities of Busan and Daejeon, most other parts of the country are at distancing Level 3.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.