South Korea will fine people for not wearing masks from later this month, as the country expands its rules on mandatory face coverings.

Although South Korea has fared better than many other countries in containing the coronavirus outbreak, daily cases have risen to over 100 in recent days.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 124 new cases on Saturday, the fifth day in a row infections had exceeded 100. The agency said clusters had emerged in places such as schools and care homes, and at small family gatherings.

The country had recorded a total of 26,732 Covid-19 cases and 468 deaths as of Monday morning.

In response, mandatory mask-wearing – already in place in 12 “high-risk” venues such as clubs and karaoke bars – will be expanded from 7 November to 23 additional places, including spas, wedding halls, department stores, theme parks, and hair salons.

From 13 November, anyone not wearing a mask in those places faces a fine of up to 100,000 won (£68), while the venues’ operators could be fined as much as 3 million won.

South Korean officials warned against complacency despite the country’s relatively low case numbers. “A prolonged Covid-19 outbreak is inevitable until treatments and vaccines are developed,” the health minister, Park Neung-hoo, said.

 

Source: The Guardian.