SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) — Cram schools, buffet restaurants and gyms bustled with activity Monday as the government adjusted its coronavirus restrictions to the lowest tier — Level 1.
The government announced Sunday that with falling new infections, 10 types of “high-risk” facilities would be allowed to reopen, including various bars, karaoke rooms, large cram schools with 300 or more registered students, and buffet restaurants.
The news came as a relief to such businesses, which were forced to close in August amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, but many business owners maintained a cautious outlook due to the strict social distancing guidelines they will be required to follow within their establishments.
“I signed up for three months of TOEIC classes in August, but soon after, I had to take my classes online,” said a 25-year-old job seeker, referring to a standard English language exam required by many employers.
“I struggled because I couldn’t concentrate on my own, and came out for in-person classes as soon as I heard they were open again,” he said, heading to his cram school near Gangnam Station in southern Seoul.
Inside the reopened schools, precautionary measures were taken in line with government guidelines with hand sanitizer on site, QR-code based entry logs and thermal cameras to check body temperatures.
As lunch time rolled around, patrons began to fill