South Korea to Adopt “Living With COVID” after Easing Regulations on Gatherings

South Korea will begin loosening restrictions on social gatherings as it prepares to switch to a “living with COVID” strategy with more than 60 percent of its population fully vaccinated.

Starting Monday next week, gatherings in South Korea will be allowed for up to four unvaccinated people and operating hours for venues such as restaurants and cafes will be lengthened.

Gatherings of up to eight people in the Seoul area will be allowed if the group includes four fully vaccinated people, while other areas will allow up to 10 people.

The easing of restrictions came as South Korean authorities reported cases of COVID-19 to be slowing down.

The South Korean government established a panel earlier this week to draw up a strategy for the country to phase out COVID-19 restrictions and gradually return to normal life.

“We will turn COVID-19 into a controlled infectious disease and no longer a fear of the unknown, and return a complete routine to the citizens,” Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum told the panel, but he added that the mask-wearing policy will not be immediately scrapped.

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