Asia Today: Seoul enforces distancing rules amid fresh spike

Full Screen
1 / 2

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Bottles of hand sanitizer are displayed for use at a park in Goyang, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Friday that 600 of the newly confirmed patients were domestically transmitted cases nearly 80 % of them in the densely populous Seoul area, which has been at the center of a recent viral resurgence. The notice reads: "The COVID-19 prevention hand sanitizer." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL – South Korea's capital on Saturday began enforcing stricter distancing rules as the country added nearly 600 new coronavirus cases for the second straight day.

The restrictions require large stores, gyms, movie theaters, barbershops and amusement parks to shut down after 9 p.m., and restaurants to provide only deliveries and takeouts after that time.

Public transportation will also be reduced after 9 p.m. in an aim to discourage unnecessary gatherings.

The 583 cases reported by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency brought the national caseload to 36,915, including 540 deaths.

The agency said 411 of the cases were from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where health officials are struggling to track infections tied to various places, including hospitals, churches, schools, saunas and gyms.

The country had reported 629 new cases on Friday, its highest daily jump in nine months.


Follow AP’s coverage at and