Level 1 distancing no excuse to let guard down
The city lowered its social distancing levels on Oct. 12, but that doesn't mean the novel coronavirus pandemic is over. Concerns over a new spike in infections due to the relaxed measures and an increase in people enjoying the autumn weather are large. To ensure public safety, the national government has established regulations to discourage travel. Ad-ditionally, fines will be given to those who fail or refuse to wear facemasks.
◆ Recommended guidelines
The recommended advice for hiking and outdoor activities in the fall season is to refrain from partaking in them in groups. If groups with family members or friends are unavoidable, the guidelines are as follows돟 During the planning phase, it is recommended that the itinerary be minimized and that the number of people gathered be small. If you have a fever or any respiratory symptoms, strongly consider canceling your plans. It is also advised that you go to local parks or walking paths on weekdays rather than on weekends when they are more crowded. Wear long sleeves and long pants to prevent the chance of contracting illnesses that may cause fevers.
When traveling, it is recommended that you use private vehicles. If using public transportation, minimize the risk of infection by utilizing online booking, mobile check-in and other non-contact services. Food consumption should be done only in designated locations. For everyone's safety, masks should remain on, even inside vehicles. Refrain from singing, drink-ing, talking and eating. Rest stops are areas of risk, so it is advisable to stay away from them. If you must visit a rest stop, stay for as short a time as possible.
If you must travel in a group, assign a quarantine manager to secure a list of participants and to become familiar with COVID-19 management rules in advance. The quarantine manager should monitor group members, comply with regulations and call 1399 or 120 if any cases are suspected.
When hiking or taking part in general outdoor activities, wear a mask and maintain a distance of two meters from others. If you grow out of breath while hiking, find a private area to temporarily remove your mask to regain your strength. Eating should be done individually, and food should not be shared. After returning home, wash your clothes im-mediately, and take a shower.
◆ Fines beginning Nov. 13
Since Oct. 13, it has been mandatory to wear masks on public transportation and in certain institutions. Beginning Nov. 13, failure to wear a mask may result in a fine of up to 100,000 won. Where masks are required will depend on the current social distancing level. On public transportation, at demonstrations and in medical, nursing and protection facilities, masks are mandatory no matter the distance level. At Level 1, masks must be worn in 12 high-risk facilities.
Masks licensed by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety are acceptable. Cotton and other disposable masks may be allowed in some cases but are subject to scrutiny. Wearing a mask around your chin or nose is unacceptable and may result in a fine. Mesh masks and masks with valve filters are incapable of protecting others from the wearer and are thusly not permitted.