Businesses hard hit, low-risk facilities will benefit from relaxed rules first: South Korean PM

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Seoul, October 22 (IANS) South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on Friday that hard-hit businesses and low-risk facilities would be the first to benefit from the easing of COVID-19 restrictions from next month.

Kim made the remark during a meeting of a government-civilian panel overseeing the transition to life after Covid-19, the Yonhap news agency reported.

“The return to normal will be done in stages and systematically,” he said.

“We will take drastic and active steps to ease virus restrictions, starting with the neglected businesses and groups that have suffered greatly (during the pandemic) and facilities with low risk of spreading infections. “

Health officials have said they plan to ease restrictions next month as part of a transition to ‘living with Covid-19’, as the rate of fully vaccinated people approaches 70%.

Kim said that at the start of the transition, the relaxed restrictions will only need to apply to fully vaccinated people.

“Vaccines help prevent infections and dramatically reduce the number of severe cases and deaths, so it’s an inevitable choice,” he said.

The Prime Minister however stressed that it will be important for establishments to continue to follow basic antivirus precautions once the warrants have been lifted.

South Korea has a four-tier social distancing program in place, with the greater Seoul area currently below the strictest level, which includes curfews on restaurant hours and caps on the size of gatherings private.

The government plans to announce specific guidelines for the return to normalcy next week based on discussions at Friday’s meeting.

–IANS

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