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City Hall working at full strength against virus

City Hall is responding fully to the fresh outbreak of novel coronavirus cases around the country and in Busan. The city is fully committed to preventing the virus's spread and is further strengthening the prevention system already in place to halt any further continuation of the nation's second wave that began in Seoul.

Busan began implementing Level 2 of its social distancing scheme on Aug. 21 to contain community infections coming from tourists from other regions, many of whom visit the beaches and local tourist attractions in the late summer. The increased level was originally planned to be relaxed after August, but the measures may continue into September. According to City Hall's protocol, Level 3 will be considered if the average number of daily confirmed cases exceeds 20 for one week. 

△ Millak Waterside Park is one public area that has closed to contain the spread of COVID-19. 

What Level 2 means

Under Level 2, gatherings and events exceeding 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors are banned. This rule applies to certain high-risk areas including PC rooms, pub and entertainment facilities and private education institutes with more than 300 students. Museums, libraries and art galleries, which were previously limited to 50-percent capacity, are closed. 

Churches are not allowed to hold in-person services, and all religious establishments are banned from any face-to-face meetings. Movie thea-ters, bathhouses and indoor sports facilities are also facing gathering restrictions. For now, the KBO and other professional sports leagues are continuing with no audiences. Busan is imposing a fine of up to three million won on those who break prevention measures. The city holds the right to claim damages for any hospitalization, treatment and quarantine expenses of violators. 

New rules and regulations

Busan City Hall has issued an administrative order requiring all people living in or visiting Busan to wear masks indoors, including on public transportation. This rule applies to cafes and restaurants too, except during food intake. Face masks should also be worn outdoors in the event of coming into contact with multiple people at rallies or other gatherings. City Hall will fine violators up to 100,000 won after a grace period ends on Oct. 13.

The impact of Level 3 

The government is carefully considering the procedure and ramifications of Level 3, should the crisis worsen. At this level, all gatherings and events exceeding 10 people would be banned. Schools and kindergartens would operate remotely or be closed entirely. Workers in the public sector would need to work from home, private multi-use facilities would be shut down, sports would be suspended and funeral attendance would be limited exclusively to family members.