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Year-end parties banned in South Korea

Year-end parties banned in South Korea
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South Korea on Sunday banned year-end parties as coronavirus cases surge around the world due in part to colder temperatures.

“Year-end events and parties hosted by hotels, party rooms, guest houses and other accommodation facilities will be banned outright,” said Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun.

Chung also announced new restrictions on gatherings and activities such as music lessons, public saunas and some cafes, Reuters reports. Saunas and steam baths will be banned along with wind instrument and singing lessons.

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At the start of the pandemic, South Korea was viewed as a success story for its mitigation efforts.

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, 450 new infections were reported and 500 new cases were reported on the three preceding days.

According to Chung, the South Korean government was in talks with parliament for another round of relief funds for households and businesses, the third that would be sent out this year if passed.

Chung said, “Our assessment is that we need the third crisis support fund ... The government will come up with a conclusion on this after discussing with both the ruling and opposition parties.”

Last week, the South Korean government announced new lockdowns for the greater area of the capital city of Seoul. Nightclubs were closed and late-night dine-in in restaurants were prohibited.

In the U.S., officials have warned against gatherings for the holiday season without outright banning them.

Despite the warning, over a million people passed through airport security the day before Thanksgiving, the most seen since March. Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Biden takes steps to boost number of vaccine doses sent to states | CDC researchers find 'little evidence' of major school outbreaks, with precautions | Eli Lilly says antibody combo significantly cuts COVID-19 death risk Biden takes steps to boost number of vaccine doses sent to states World surpasses 100M coronavirus cases MORE, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said on Sunday he did not expect recommendations against gathering to be changed for Christmas this year.