|Young people dance at a nightclub in Gangnam, Seoul, on April 4. Captured from an online community website|
The South Korean government said Tuesday it will strengthen inspections of nightclubs and bars, warning they could become new hotbeds for coronavirus infection.
Nightlife spots on streets frequented by young people in Seoul and other major cities have recently been showing signs of revival as the fall in new virus cases eased fears of COVID-19.
"People are lining up at entertainment establishments including clubs that open their doors despite the strict social distancing drive," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters.
"We are worried about the situation where young people become 'quiet (asymptomatic) spreaders.'"
Beginning this week, the government will conduct intensive inspections of dancing clubs, youth bars and other entertainment businesses from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily, the crisis team said after the meeting.
|People line up to enter a nightclub in Gangnam, Seoul, on April 4. Captured from an online community website|
Authorities have examined 30,380 entertainment businesses across the country over the past two weeks to check whether they are abiding by government-imposed rules to prevent the spread of the virus, according to the headquarters.
Of them, 7,358 were found to have violated the rules, including measuring visitors' body temperatures and having people maintain a safe distance.
Authorities issued administrative orders for 43 of them. Those that do not comply could be fined up to 3 million won ($2,453) and face indemnity claims from the government should infections occur there.
For the remaining 7,315 facilities, the government issued administrative guidance, which calls for voluntary cooperation, the headquarters said. (Yonhap)