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Mask-wearing mandatory on public transportation and hospitals

09:06 October 13, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- People will be required to wear face masks on mass transportation, at demonstrations, and medical and health care facilities starting Tuesday, health authorities said.

The requirement is in line with the implementation of the country's infectious disease control and prevention act aimed at stemming the spread of the deadly disease, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

Employees wear transparent masks amid the coronavirus pandemic at a ward office in the southwestern city of Gwangju on Oct. 12, 2020, to help deaf visitors communicate better with them as they can lip read. (Yonhap)

If people do not wear masks on public transportation and at demonstrations, as well as medical and health care facilities, they will face a fine of up to 100,000 won (US$87), the agency said.

The fines, however, won't be implemented until November after a 30-day grace period, the KDCA said.

Operators of those facilities and rally organizers will be fined up to 3 million won for failing to ensure that users and participants comply with the requirement.

However, people aged under 14 and those who are unable to wear masks due to medical conditions will be exempted from the fine. People will also be allowed to skip wearing masks in special cases, such as when they are washing their faces, eating or swimming.

The fine can also be imposed on people who wear masks under their noses in such spaces. Scarves and certain types of masks that cannot protect others from the virus will not be allowed.

Public places subject to the obligation will depend on levels under South Korea's three-tier social distancing scale.

Local governments will be allowed to adjust the scope of places subject to mandatory mask use, depending on their coronavirus situations.

khj@yna.co.kr
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