The South Korean government has reintroduced stricter anti-virus measures to tackle the latest surge.
"The government will focus on strengthening anti-virus measures for the next four weeks, filling in the loopholes created during the country's gradual return to normal. In particular, we will focus on reducing the number of gatherings, contact, and travel that may increase during the year-end period."
The social gathering capacity in the capital region will be limited to six people - down from 10, and eight in other regions, reduced from 12.
Only one unvaccinated person will be allowed in a group in all regions.
This will take effect from Monday and last for four weeks.
Vaccine passes will also now be required in restaurants and cafes.
People going to museums, theaters, concerts as well as cram schools,.. will also have to provide proof of vaccination.
This will start on Monday, with a one-week grace period.
Currently, the passes are only required for entry to venues like indoor sports facilities, bars, nightclubs, singing rooms, and public baths.
Passes will still not be required for weddings, funerals, department stores, supermarkets, and outdoor sports facilities.
From February next year, the use of passes will be further expanded to teenagers.
To prevent additional Omicron variant cases in the country, all travelers arriving in South Korea will have to quarantine for ten days starting Friday, for the next 2 weeks.
The introduction of stronger measures is a bid to contain the recent spike in the number of infections,.. amid concerns over the Omicron variant.
South Korea on Friday confirmed 4-thousand 9-hundred 44 new COVID-19 cases
dipping slightly from Thursday's all-time high figure of more than 5-thousand.
However, a record 7-hundred 36 severely-ill patients were reported.
Meanwhile, South Korea has confirmed six cases of the Omicron variant.
And the country's first suspected cluster infection linked to one of the patients has been identified, at a church in Incheon.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.