South Korea to maintain Level 1 social distancing

A health worker attaches a notice for suspension of influenza vaccination programs on an entrance of a hospital in Sejong, South Korea

South Korea will maintain Level 1 social distancing regulations under a revised five-tier scheme as the number of new coronavirus cases has remained below 100 this week, health authorities said on Friday.

The new five-tier scheme, which takes effect on Saturday, breaks the current three levels into five — 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3 — based on the average number of daily infections per week, Yonhap News Agency quoted the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) as saying.

The new system will divide the country into seven zones to allow provincial governments to decide the level of their own social distancing in accordance with the new infections in the regions.

The new system groups facilities into “priority” and “regular” sites in terms of the application of anti-virus rules, while mask wearing and other key rules that were previously mandatory only at “high-risk” facilities will now apply to all facilities.

From November 13, those who don’t wear masks in public spaces and transportation will be fined up to 100,000 won, and business owners who violate the public health regulations will be imposed with a 3 million won penalty.

According to the KDCA, the number of new cases across the nation slightly exceeded 100 for the third straight day Friday, due to sporadic cluster infections from senior nursing homes, hospitals and workplaces.

The country reported 145 new cases, raising the total caseload to 27,195.

The death toll increased to 476 with one new fatality.

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