South Korea tightens coronavirus restrictions after new spike in cases

Health officials of the Songpa-gu in Seoul spray disinfectant at the cafeteria of the Yeongdongil High School in Seoul, South Korea. EPA-EFE/JEON HEON-KYUN

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Officials in South Korea have re-implemented lockdown measures in the metropolitan area of Seoul, home to half the country’s 52 million population, following the biggest spike in infections in nearly two months.

Museums, parks and art galleries will all be closed again from Friday for two weeks, said health minister Park Neung-hoo, while companies have been urged to reintroduce flexible working among other measures.

“We have decided to strengthen all quarantine measures in the metropolitan area for two weeks from tomorrow to June 14,” he said.

Residents of Seoul have also been advised to avoid social gatherings or going to crowded places, including restaurants and bars, while religious facilities have been asked to be extra vigilant with quarantine measures. There were no new delays, however, to the phased re-opening of schools that is currently underway.

“The next two weeks are crucial to prevent the spread of the infection in the metropolitan area,” Park said, adding: “We will have to return to social distancing if we fail.”

Restrictions had been lifted across the country on 6 May after the outbreak appeared to be brought under control.

Read more via Yonhap

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