South Korea to Reduce Private Gatherings to 4 and Brings Back COVID Curfews

South Korea Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum announced Thursday the country would reduce the maximum private gathering size to four people nationwide and restore the 9 p.m. curfew on restaurant and cafe business hours.

The abrupt change came as a surge in coronavirus infections threatened the country with daily case numbers approaching the 8,000s, and the number of COVID-19 fatalities hit an all-time high of 94 on Tuesday.

“We are putting all of our efforts into expanding our medical capacity and increasing vaccinations to overcome the virus crisis we are facing,” Kim said, adding that a quick way to bring the spread under control is “through strong social distancing measures.”

Kim said the government would provide additional financial assistance to businesses amid the widened implementation of the “vaccine pass” system. 

Meantime, the education ministry said schools in the greater Seoul area would cancel face-to-face classes and continue with remote learning from Monday until the start of the winter holidays later this month.

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