Sports Day – Outdoor Wedding ‘No Mask’… A venue for more than 50 people – you must use a baseball field line

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[내주 실외 마스크 해제]Q&A on Corona Mask Standards by Location-Situation

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From 00:00 on May 2nd, you will no longer need to wear a mask outdoors. However, the obligation to wear an outdoor mask is maintained at gatherings of more than 50 people, performances, and sports events, and non-wearing will result in a fine of up to 100,000 won. The standards for wearing masks for each location and situation are summarized in a question-and-answer format.

○ For picnics, etc., ‘no mask’ is possible even if there are a lot of people.

―You don’t have to wear a mask at outdoor weddings or sports events… .

“It is not compulsory to wear a mask at all outdoor events except for gatherings of more than 50 people, performances, and watching sports events. These include outdoor sports events, class reunions, picnics, weddings, first birthday parties, and memorial ceremonies. However, it is recommended that participants voluntarily wear a mask if there is a high risk of spreading the virus when they judge for themselves.”

―What is the reason for forcing people to wear masks at gatherings of more than 50 people, performances and sports?

“This is because the risk of transmission of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) is relatively high because there are many saliva (droplets) that are generated, such as shouting slogans or chanting swarms. On the other hand, for the rest of the event, the risk of spreading the virus varies depending on the situation, so we leave it up to the number of participants to wear masks.”

―If you are obligated to wear a mask outdoors, can you cover your mouth with a scarf instead of a mask?

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“Wearing a mesh or valve type mask or covering your face with only clothing such as a scarf or neck warmer is considered a ‘no mask’, so it is subject to fines as it is now. The government has announced that it will crack down on it. As with the indoor mask standards, disposable masks that cover both the mouth and nose, cloth masks, and electronic masks with the National Integrated Certification Mark (KC) must be used.”

○ Even in a terrace-type cafe with two or more walls, the mask is autonomous.

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―The cafe on the terrace or on the roof is viewed indoors or outdoors.

“Even if it is in a building with a roof and pillars, if there are two or more walls and ventilation is good, it is regarded as outdoors and the wearing of a mask is left to the discretion. According to this standard, most terrace-type cafes are outdoors. The same goes for ‘Gilmaek’ (street-drinking beer) stores like Nogari Alley in Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul.”

―How about an open space like the platform of Seoul Station?

“I also see an outdoor train without walls, a train platform or a bus stop as outdoors. However, since the inside of transportation means such as trains and buses is ‘indoor’, you must wear a mask when riding.”

―Can I take off my mask at outdoor amusement parks, downtown areas, swimming pools, and beaches?

“do. However, even if you take off your mask while walking, you must wear a mask when entering a closed toilet or play facility. We strongly recommend wearing a mask in densely populated places where it is difficult to keep a 1m distance from other people for more than 15 minutes.”

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―Should I wear a mask when playing soccer, baseball, or mountain climbing in groups such as clubs?

“It is not compulsory to wear a mask when exercising outdoors. It is highly recommended.”

○ During the gymnasium, the playground is ‘no mask’, and the auditorium is ‘masked’

―It has been a long time since the last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Can I take off my mask outdoors though?

“The lifting of the mandatory outdoor mask applies to everyone, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. However, since the unvaccinated and the elderly are at risk of COVID-19, quarantine authorities recommend wearing a mask wherever you are. The same is true if you have symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever or cough. In particular, it is strongly recommended to wear a KF80 or higher health mask when visiting places that are vulnerable to infection, such as nursing homes, or three-mil (close, closed) facilities.”

―Is it okay to take off the mask when doing outdoor activities in elementary, middle and high school?

“From the 2nd of next month, you will no longer need to wear a mask during outdoor play in kindergartens, physical education classes in elementary, middle and high schools, and sports events. However, if you do these activities in the auditorium, you must wear a mask. From the same day, splash-blocking masks and dental masks will be allowed to be used in schools. The Ministry of Education has decided to lift the duty to wear a mask from the 23rd of next month in the case of outdoor experiential learning and field trips.”

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―Will the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increase due to this measure?

“In countries such as France and Singapore that lifted the duty to wear outdoor masks before us, the quarantine authorities analyzed that the lifting measures did not have a significant impact on the decline.”

―When can I take off the mask indoors?

“It is known that confined indoor spaces have a much higher risk of virus transmission. The position of the quarantine authorities is that the obligation to wear a mask indoors is the last quarantine rule to be maintained. For reference, in October 2020, when domestic and outdoor masks were required for the first time, the daily average number of COVID-19 deaths was 1.9, much lower than in April of last month (223.9 people).”

Correspondent Cho Kyeon-hee becom@donga.com
By Choi Ye-na, staff reporter yena@donga.com

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