The South Korean government has decided to extend current social distancing rules for two more weeks as the country is still struggling to contain the Omicron Covid variant, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on Frida.
“Slowing the pace of the variant’s spread, which is heading to its peak day after day, is a priority in this difficult circumstance where we cannot accurately estimate the impact of the Lunar New Year holiday period,” Kim said during a Covid-19 response meeting.
The government has been enforcing enhanced social distancing rules since January 17 that allows private gatherings of up to six people with a 9 p.m. curfew imposed on restaurants’ and cafes’ business hours, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The restrictions were originally supposed to end on Sunday, but with the latest decision, they will be enforced through February 20.
South Korea’s daily virus caseload has been reaching record highs, with the latest tally exceeding 20,000 as the Omicron variant became the most dominant strain in the country.
To curb the rise of serious cases, the government also decided to lower the age of eligibility for Covid-19 treatment pills from 60 to 50 starting from February 7.
Kim added that health authorities are reviewing ways to improve the at-home treatment system to cope with the fast spread of the variant.