June 29, 2022

The South Korean government with the aim to ease its COVID-19 restrictions has announced the new guidelines to be followed under its “living with COVID-19” scheme beginning from next week.

The new guidelines

• Private gathering will now have a limit of 10 people for the greater Seoul area.
• There will no longer be business curfews on all multi-use facilities, except nightlife establishments.
• The government will introduce a “vaccine pass” system, which will require visitors to have a vaccination certificate or negative COVID-19 test result.
• The authorities will have a grace period of one or two weeks with regards to “vaccine pass” system for high-risk facilities, so that businesses can adapt the new measure without confusion.
• It will provide a grace period in the scheme for entry into nightlife establishments, and indoor sports facilities.
• The scheme will be tested the three-stages, the first phase of scheme will begin Monday for four weeks.

According to Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, the measures at a COVID-19 response meeting are aimed to gradually bring people’s lives back to normal.

Earlier this week, a committee comprising of 30 experts from the private sector, unveiled the roadmap for the country to gradually phase out coronavirus restrictions. The move came as over 70 percent of the country’s population have received their full vaccination doses.

The health authorities have mentioned to comprehensively assess the virus situation before moving to the second phase. This phase will focus on allowing large-scale events, and lifting curfews on nightlife establishments.

At present, the country’s limit on private gatherings in Seoul and its surrounding areas particularly is eight people; this is provided that four of them are fully vaccinated. While in other regions a maximum of 10 people, including six fully vaccinated,are allowed to gather.

And starting Monday, the limit will go up to 10 people for the greater Seoul area and 12 for other regions regardless of vaccinations.

Cafes and restaurants in the greater Seoul area are currently are allowed to operate until 10 p.m. While in the other parts of the country the same establishments are allowed to be open until midnight.