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People walk through the Myeongdong shopping district in Seoul, South Korea on August 27. Jung Yeon-je / AFP / Getty Images

South Korea on Friday tightened its coronavirus restrictions in the greater Seoul metropolitan area in a bid to curb the resurgence of the epidemic.

From August 30, franchise cafes will be able to provide take-out service only, while restaurants and bakeries must stop catering between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., Health Minister Park said on Friday. Neung-hoo during a briefing.

Gyms and indoor sports facilities will be closed, according to Park. The measure will be effective from August 30 to September 6.

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the second-highest level of social distancing measures would be maintained in the Seoul metropolitan area for another week.

Under these measures, which now expire on September 6, indoor gatherings are limited to 50 and outdoor gatherings to 100.

The latest outbreak in the country has been linked to churches in Seoul and neighboring provinces. Members of religious groups have been criticized for withholding key information and obstructing public health authorities in their fight against the pandemic.

Chung said adopting the highest social distancing Level 3 measures would be a last resort for the country, given the strong impact it would have on society.

Latest issues: South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recorded 371 new cases of Covid-19, of which 359 were transmitted locally.

Of the new cases, 145 are from Seoul, 112 from surrounding Gyeonggi Province and 27 from neighboring Incheon city.

South Korea has recorded a total of 19,077 Covid-19 cases, including 316 deaths, according to the KCDC.

This article has been updated to reflect that the new measures apply to the Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area.


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