Masks for outdoor events not required starting Monday
Masks will not be required for outdoor group activities starting Monday, Korea’s prime minister said Friday.
“Currently, it is compulsory to wear a mask at outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people, performances, and sports matches,” Han Duck-soo said in a Covid-19 response meeting at the Government Complex in Seoul. “Considering the relatively low risk of outdoor infection, the measure will be lifted from Monday.”
The general outdoor masks mandate ended May 2 except for activities involving more than 50 people in a single setting.
Masks still have to be worn in indoor spaces in Korea, a measure that is also being reviewed by health authorities.
“The indoor mask mandate will remain for now,” Han said in the meeting Friday.
Korea is the only country among major Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations that mandates face masks in all indoor facilities.
Other Covid-related measures still in place in Korea are a mandatory seven-day quarantine for infected patients and a PCR test requirement for all arriving passengers after entering the country.
Some 97 percent of the population in Korea is estimated to have antibodies for the Covid-19 virus, according to Han.
“That’s based on a test we ran on a sample of 10,000 people,” Han said. “Of this group, 97 percent had antibodies due to vaccination or having recovered after an infection.”
BY ESTHER CHUNG [email@example.com]