S Korea keeps social distancing curbs ahead of major holiday

SEOUL (CNA) – South Korea yesterday extended Level 2 social distancing for a week until September 27, which limits indoor gatherings to below 50 and outdoor to below less than 100, and may tighten limits for the Chuseok holiday when people traditionally reunite with families.

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the Level 2 restrictions need to be kept ahead of Chuseok as COVID-19 “cases with untraceable origins are steadily increasing and fewer tests being carried out on weekends means we should be on high alert”.

Social distancing policies for the September 30 to October 2 holiday will be announced.

South Korea reported 82 new coronavirus cases as of midnight Saturday, the lowest daily infections since mid August, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the total, 72 were locally transmitted, bringing the total tally to 22,975, with 383 deaths.

Clusters of infections from a church and political rally sparked a second wave of outbreaks in August, driving the daily tally to more than 400, before the numbers began dropping to the low 100s in early September.

Women stand next to glowing full moon installations at a park in Seoul, South Korea. The artificial full moons have been installed to celebrate the upcoming Chuseok holiday, the Korean version of Thanksgiving Day. PHOTO: AP