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S. Korea starts to make gradual transition to normal by easing social distancing rules Updated: 2021-11-01 09:43:54 KST

We begin with the latest on COVID-19, South Korea enters the gradual transition to 'Living with COVID-19' scheme today as so social distancing rules imposed across the nation will be eased step by step.
In Seoul and the capital region, gatherings will be allowed for up to 10 people, with 12 permitted in other regions.
Restrictions on operating hours for cafes and restaurants will also be lifted.
Choi Won-jong explains it in detail.
Starting Monday people in South Korea are getting some 'breathing-room' as the gradual transition back to normal kicks off .
As part of the Korean health authorities' plan to gradually ease restrictions, in the Greater Seoul area social gatherings of up to 10 people, with 6 of the group fully vaccinated, are allowed at restaurants and coffee shops with up to 12 people allowed in other areas as long as 8 people are fully jabbed.
But you need to remember at cafes and restaurants, those who are not vaccinated can only meet in groups of up to four.

Business hours at facilities such as coffee shops and restaurants have also changed.
Starting Monday restrictions on operation hours for these facilities are lifted so they can operate around the clock.
But for businesses considered high risk facilities such as clubs and specific bars they must close by midnight.

Also people in Korea are now required to present some sort of certification to show that they are vaccinated or Covid negative when visiting certain places considered high risk such as singing rooms, saunas, gyms, bars as well as hospitals.
Proving your fully vaccinated status is simple through an app called Coov or paper documents issued by local health centers.
Regardless of vaccination status showing a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours can also be presented instead.
However if you are below 18 years old or unable to get vaccinated due to underlying conditions, you are exempted.

Starting Monday children aged 12 to 15 are eligible to get the Pfizer shot.
According to health officials more than 490-thousand children have signed up for the shots which is only 26 percent of those eligible.
Vaccinations will start from November 1st until November 27th.

This comes as South Korea reported 1-thousand 686 new infections on Monday with all but 20 locally transmitted bringing the total caseload to over 366-thousand.
Health authorities have also made some changes to the government's daily briefing.
Instead of releasing the daily caseload first the briefing will begin with the death toll followed by the number of severe cases number of hospitalized patients and confirmed cases in that order.
This comes as the authorities decided to make a gradual transition to normal by shifting their focus from the number of positive cases to cases of severe-illness instead.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.
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