South Korea extends health restrictions

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea will extend by three weeks, until February 6, strict social distancing measures in place to fight a new wave of the coronavirus epidemic caused by the Omicron variant, as looming Lunar New Year holidays.

Restored a month ago against a backdrop of a rebound in daily coronavirus contaminations, which have set records, health restrictions have helped to stem the trend, but the spread of the Omicron variant poses the threat of a new outbreak of cases. .

“The indicators have more or less improved but the number of new cases has stopped decreasing this week,” Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Friday during a meeting between various government agencies.

Among the measures in force are the closing of bars and restaurants at 9:00 p.m. as well as a limitation on private gatherings, however revised upwards – six fully vaccinated people will now be able to meet, compared to four until then.

Traditionally, tens of millions of Koreans travel across the country for the Lunar New Year festivities, which begin on January 29.

(Report Hyonhee Shin; French version Jean Terzian)

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