With the increasing vaccination rates in Seoul City, officials on Thursday said a month of pilot project that will relax social distancing protocols in a number of private sports facilities will be implemented.
Fitness centers as well as indoor golf practice hubs in Gangdong-gu ang Mapo-gu areas will be allowed by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to extend operations until midnight beginning Saturday, and will last for a month.
The facilities will get a two hour extension from the 10 p.m. curfew but they must enforce wearing of masks, conduct preventive checks, and also limit their clients after 10 p.m. for ventilation concerns.
“The fitness centers and indoor golf practice centers are selected because they are operated on a membership basis, making it easy to manage users,” Park Yu-mi, a quarantine control officer at the Seoul Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, said in a press briefing.
The two areas — Mapo-gu and Gangdong-u — were chosen as pilot areas for the implementation because of their exceptional pandemic management. The official said that more facilities will be permitted to ease restrictions once the capital city gets hold of applications coming from the districts.
“We reviewed swimming pools, academies and learning institutions, but they were not included because extending business hours didn’t seem to benefit them much,” said Park.
“Restaurants, cafes and karaoke seem to have huge benefits (from easing restrictions) but they were excluded because of the risk of having to take off the mask and the recent mass infection in the places,” the official added.
“We will analyze the pilot project well and review the expansion of restaurants, cafes and karaoke areas later.”
Since May 17, the government in the capital city has been administrating pilot projects like the self-testing kit.