[세종=뉴스핌] Reporter Lee Kyung-wha = From today (18th), all social distancing due to COVID-19 will be lifted. It has been two years and one month since the introduction of social distancing in March 2020.
All restrictions on the number of private gatherings and events, including business hours, will be lifted, and the ban on eating indoors will be lifted from the 25th after a one-week preparation period. The duty to wear a mask indoors and outdoors remains the same.
The government’s social distancing measures will be lifted from today. This is because it is judged that the medical system is in a stabilizing stage as the number of severe cases and deaths has begun to decrease, and the utilization rate of intensive care beds has gradually decreased. The accumulated inconvenience and social fatigue due to the continued social distancing also contributed to the need to lift the distance.
According to the government’s decision, the restrictions on the operation of multi-use facilities until 12:00 p.m. and the limit on the number of private gatherings that were allowed up to 10 people will be lifted at the same time. The ban on eating indoors, such as movie theaters, indoor sports facilities, and religious facilities, will be lifted from the 25th after a one-week preparation period.
The obligation to wear a mask remains the same. You must wear a mask when you cannot keep a distance of more than 2m from other people regardless of whether indoors or outdoors, or when there is a large group of people such as assemblies, performances, or events. Regarding the relatively low risk of wearing an outdoor mask, the government decided to evaluate the quarantine situation in two weeks and make a decision.
Kwon Deok-cheol, the first deputy director of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters (Minister of Health and Welfare), said, “As most of the social distancing measures are lifted this time, we have considered the risk that the quarantine tension could weaken too much if the removal of outdoor masks is included.”
Jung Eun-kyung, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also said, “In the case of outdoor masks, we decided that it was necessary to see if the epidemic situation progressed more stably, and to monitor the pattern of the epidemic following the recently changed distance easing measures, and to switch to a phased transition.”
Wearing a mask indoors is expected to continue for the time being. Prime Minister Kim Bu-gyeom said, “A mask is still a very important means of protecting yourself from infection.
Commissioner Jeong emphasized, “Because there is a risk of new mutations and a risk of re-infection due to weakened immunity, it is necessary to continue wearing a mask in an enclosed space indoors for the time being.” Preemptive inspections, contact visits, and bans on going out and outsiders remain the same at high-risk facilities with many infections vulnerable groups.
In addition, from the 25th, the government will adjust the COVID-19 infectious disease grade from Grade 1 to Grade 2. Prime Minister Kim said, “Once the rating is completely adjusted, there are many changes, such as the mandatory quarantine being changed to a recommendation and the absence of home treatment.