SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) -- Crowd capacity at outdoor sporting events across South Korea will increase beginning Monday, with the national health authorities lifting coronavirus-related restrictions before introducing revamped social distancing guidelines.
The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters announced Friday that regions under Level 1.5 distancing in the five-level scheme will be allowed to accept sports fans at 50 percent capacity, up from the 30 percent currently. The greater Seoul area, the southeastern city of Daegu and the resort island of Jeju, all under Level 2, can have crowds at 30 percent capacity starting Monday, instead of the present 10 percent.
South Korea will unveil a set of new distancing rules in July, in line with an accelerating vaccination rate. And it went ahead with easing some of the restrictions in place at outdoor sports venues Friday, on the grounds that risks of infection are relatively low there compared to indoor facilities.
Two professional sports, baseball and football, are in action during summer months. In the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO), six clubs are based in cities placed under Level 2 and the rest are under Level 1.5.
In football's K League 1, seven of the dozen clubs are under Level 2, and five others are under Level 1.5.
Following talks with the national health officials, the KBO eased parts of its leaguewide health and safety protocols at the start of this month, allowing up to four fans to sit together in a row if they're attending games as a group.
The baseball league has also asked the government to lift other restrictions, such as bans on eating and drinking in the stands and on vocal cheering.