SEOUL — The municipal governments of South Korea’s capital area decided Monday to ban the gatherings of five or more people to contain the fast spread of COVID-19 in capital Seoul, its surrounding Gyeonggi province and the western port city of Incheon.
Under the new administrative orders in the Seoul metropolitan area, only gatherings and meetings of four or fewer people will be allowed both indoors and outdoors from Wednesday through Jan. 3. The single exception will be wedding and funeral services, in which 50 or fewer people can gather under the current Level 2.5 social-distancing guidelines.The ban, coming ahead of the year-end peak season for gatherings and events, is tougher than the highest Level 3 social-distancing rules, in which the gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.
The government raised its five-tier social-distancing rules to the second-highest Level 2.5 for three weeks through Dec. 28 in the Seoul capital area amid the COVID-19 resurgence.In the latest tally, South Korea reported 926 more cases of COVID-19 for the past 24 hours, raising the total number of infections to 50,591.The daily caseload fell below 1,000 in six days, which was mainly attributable to fewer tests over the weekend. Out of the new cases, 70 percent were residents in the capital area.