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20 Apr, 2020 07:19

S. Koreans return to work and shops as govt eases social distancing rules

S. Koreans return to work and shops as govt eases social distancing rules

South Koreans are returning to work as well as shopping malls, parks, golf courses and some restaurants, as Seoul relaxes social distancing rules amid a continued downward trend in coronavirus cases.

A growing list of companies have ended or eased their work from home policies in recent weeks, though many continue to apply flexible working hours and limit travel and face-to-face meetings. Parks, mountains and golf courses were flooded with visitors over the weekend, while shopping malls and restaurants are slowly returning to normal.

South Korea’s ongoing recovery from the first major coronavirus outbreak outside China paints a stark contrast with many other countries, where metropolises remain sealed off and stay-at-home orders are in place.

Health authorities urged vigilance, warning that new clusters could still emerge at any time. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 13 new cases on Monday, a day after posting eight – the first single digit daily rise since the February 28 peak of 909. The death toll stands at 236, Reuters said.