|A man uses an indoor gym at night in this 2021 January file photo. Yonhap|
The Seoul metropolitan government said Thursday it is allowing indoor gyms and golf driving ranges in two wards to extend their business hours by two hours until midnight over a one-month trial period.
Park Yoo-mi, a disease control official at the city government, said at a press briefing that the decision is part of the city's effort to help small businesses hurt by coronavirus restrictions.
The trial period will begin Saturday in the western Mapo Ward and the eastern Gangdong Ward on the condition that the gyms and driving ranges adhere to toughened antivirus measures, such as mask wearing, preemptive COVID-19 testing, limiting the number of customers after 10 p.m. and ventilating the facilities.
Park said the two types of establishments were chosen because they run on a membership basis, making it easier to keep track of users, and considering their typically late operation hours.
The two wards were selected after taking applications and in consideration of their good records on containing COVID-19 and the physical distance between the districts, she said.
The individual wards will accept applications from gyms and driving ranges wishing to take part in the trial program, she added. (Yonhap)