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South Korea to ease COVID-19 restrictions

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South Korea to ease COVID-19 restrictions

Photo: Reuters

South Korea will ease COVID-19 restrictions today, abandoning certain social distancing protocols, increasing gathering limits, pushing back business curfews, and stopping mandated enforcement of vaccine passes.

South Korean health experts have do not anticipate that the removal of restrictions will have a marked effect on virus numbers. Pressure on government from public opinion and businesses has a hand in informing this decision, which comes after the country’s record high surge of cases, numbering 620,000 on Wednesday, following regional spikes in China, Thailand, and Japan.

This decision deviates from previously restrictive policies to limit spread, as new president Yoon Seok-youl aims to jumpstart the Korean economy after suffering heavy losses and general stagnation during the pandemic. In the following week, expect to see a continued rise in new cases, but nothing outside of general upward trends. Barring the emergence of a new variant, Korea will likely continue to relax restrictions, as Yoon executes his strategy to allow businesses to return to normalcy. The following weeks will likely consist of several new announcements aimed at re-opening the Korean economy, as promises of economic growth were central to Yoon’s campaign. 

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