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Govt. recommends temporary closure of private academies

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

The government on Wednesday recommended that all private educational institutes nationwide temporarily close to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Issuing an administrative order, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters said private educational facilities, including foreign language schools, will be allowed to operate on the condition that they thoroughly follow government guidelines on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The guidelines require all lecturers and students to wear face masks and to maintain a distance of at least one to two meters from one another.

Private educational institutes have also been asked to appoint quarantine managers, list all visitors, conduct disinfection and ventilate their venues at least twice a day. Violators could face a suspension of operations.

Such facilities in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province and six other regions have already been regulated by quarantine guidelines under separate administrative orders from local governments.

The central government has now expanded the administrative order to cover all private educational institutes across the country following its recent decision to extend its social distancing campaign to April 19.

"The government has determined that strengthened quarantine measures are needed for private educational institutes and entertainment facilities, as they have not faithfully followed the social distancing campaign," Kim Ganglip, general coordinator of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, said in a media briefing.

The government has already imposed a similar administrative order on religious, sports and entertainment facilities nationwide as part of its efforts to prevent cluster infections of COVID-19.

South Korea's coronavirus cases totaled 10,384 as of Wednesday, with a daily increase of 53. (Yonhap)

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