S.Korea extends social-distancing rules

South Korean authorities said on Friday that the country will extend the Level 2 social-distancing rules, the third highest in the five-tier system, in the Seoul metropolitan area for two weeks till March 28.

Crowded facilities such as cafes, restaurants and fitness centres will be allowed to open until 10 p.m. in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters.

Restrictions will be lifted on the operation of movie theatres, internet cafes, study rooms, amusement parks, beauty shops and discount outlets, reports Xinhua news agency.

In non-metropolitan areas, the social-distancing rules will be maintained at Level 1.5 for two more weeks.

No restriction will be imposed on the operation of the crowded facilities and other facilities in the non-Seoul area.

No private gathering of five or more people will be permitted across the country.

Six risky entertainment facilities, including nightclubs, will be allowed to open until 10 p.m. in the Seoul area.

On Friday, South Korea reported 488 more cases of Covid-19 for the past 24 hours, raising the total number of infections to 94,686.

The daily caseload stayed above 400 for four straight days.

The death toll stood at 1,662.