The Korea Herald


Almost half of Koreans say lifting business hour limits is timely: poll

Over 1,000 cited for violating quarantine rules over Halloween weekend, police say

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Nov. 1, 2021 - 13:06

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People walk in a street in Itaewon, Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap) People walk in a street in Itaewon, Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap)
Almost half of Koreans think that lifting business hour limits is a timely decision, as the country takes its first steps in the direction of “living with COVID-19” this week, a poll showed Monday.

According to Realmeter’s poll of 500 people aged 18 and older nationwide, 47.5 percent of respondents said health authorities’ decision to ease restrictions on operating hours comes at the right time, whereas 26.1 percent said it is still too early and 21.8 percent said it is coming later than appropriate.

Among the respondents who said they live in Seoul, the poll was less decisive, as 39.6 percent said it was a timely decision and 31 percent said it was too early to lift limits on operating hours.

Younger respondents aged between 18 and 29 were more likely to show a negative response to the government’s timing of shifting to “living with COVID-19” measures. Of them, almost 40 percent said the easing of the rules came late.

In regard to respondents’ political beliefs, about 7 in 10 people with liberal views were supportive of the timing of the government’s quarantine paradigm shift.

Meanwhile, police cracked down on over 1,000 people for breaching quarantine regulations over the past weekend, ahead of the country’s new quarantine guidelines.

The National Police Agency on Monday said 1,289 people nationwide in a total of 101 violations against laws such as the Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act and Food Sanitation Act were identified over the three-day span of Friday to Sunday.

Mass crowds flooded the streets and pubs of Itaewon, a popular nighttime entertainment area in Yongsan-gu, Seoul for Halloween festivities. According to police, a total of about 170,000 people gathered in Itaewon from Friday through Sunday.

Saturday, the eve of Halloween, saw the biggest number of violators at 630 people.

Police said over 200 people including business owners and visitors were busted Saturday for illegally setting up a DJ booth and a stage and operating it as a club without approval at a restaurant in Gangnam, Seoul.

On the same day, police cracked down on 51 people at an unlawfully operating nighttime entertainment facility in Songpa-gu, Seoul.

In Busan, the country’s second largest city, police also identified 195 people as breaking quarantine rules over the weekend.