South Korea to start easing COVID restrictions next month

South Korea on Monday announced that it would begin easing COVID-19 restrictions starting next month, local media reported.

"Based on stable containment and high vaccination rates, we are commencing a gradual return to normal life," Yonhap News Agency quoted the country's President Moon Jae-in as saying in an address to the country's parliament.

The move came a day after the country exceeded 70% vaccination rate, with Moon saying the transition would begin in November "in earnest."

From next month, businesses will reopen their doors and in-person classes will resume while most COVID-19 restrictions will be eased, though mask-wearing will remain in place, according to the report.

According to Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, 40.7 million people, or 79.4% of the population, have so far received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 35.9 million, or 70.1%, are fully vaccinated.

During the past 24 hours, South Korea reported 1,190 new cases of the coronavirus as the country saw a decrease in infections over the last three weeks.

So far, South Korea registered 353,089 cases with 2,773 deaths, according to the agency.


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