S.Korea to raise gathering size limit, ease curfew

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South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on Friday that the government has decided to raise the private gathering size limit to 10 people and ease the business hour curfew on restaurants and cafes to midnight.

The new social distancing rules will go into effect on April 4 for two weeks, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Should the situation remain stable during the period, Kim said the government will “boldly revamp” the social distancing rules, raising the possibility of the complete removal of all such restrictions.

The decision comes as the country began to see a downward trend in new infections after the number of daily Covid-19 cases soared to as high as 621,197 on March 17 amid the Omicron-fueled wave.

“There are still lots of risk factors to consider, such as concerns over a possible increase in serious cases and deaths, the impact of ‘stealth Omicron’, also known as BA.2, which has become a dominant strain, and spring outing demands,” Kim said during a Covid-19 response meeting in Seoul.

“That is why we need a careful decision at this point,” he said.

On Friday morning, the country’s overall Covid-19 caseload increased to 13,375,818 after 280,273 new infections were reported in the last 24 hours.

An additional 360 new fatalities took the nationwide death toll to 16,590.

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