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Seoul tightens Covid-19 restrictions to second-highest level amid spike in infections

Seoul tightens Covid-19 restrictions to second-highest level amid spike in infections
New restrictions have been announced in the greater Seoul area as South Korea struggles to deal with a spike in daily Covid-19 infections. Over 600 new cases were recorded in the worst peak since March.

"We’ve come upon a critical period in the fight against Covid-19," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a Sunday government meeting on the epidemic, according to Yonhap.

South Korea introduced a five-tier social distancing scheme in November. Level 2.5, which was declared on Sunday for its most populous capital metropolitan area, is reserved for times when the number of daily cases reaches over 400, but no more than 800.

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The country recorded 631 new infections earlier in the day, the worst number since March. Of those cases, 470 came from the greater Seoul area, which includes the capital itself, the surrounding Gyeongi Province and the port city of Incheon, just west of Seoul.

South Korean authorities have repeatedly warned that a surge in Covid-19 cases was expected during winter, possibly reaching as high as 1,000 daily cases within the next two weeks. Level 2 social distancing, the third highest, was announced in greater Seoul on November 22, but the restrictions have not been able to reverse the rise in cases.

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