THE SLOW decline in COVID-19 cases has made various countries relax their regulations again, and South Korea is no exception. Now, the South Korean Health Authority plans to repeal the mandatory mask rule indoors.

Reported by the Korea Herald, South Korea will start repealing this rule as soon as January 30. This comes after health experts on the government’s advisory committee on COVID-19, agreed to remove the mask requirement indoors.

“The rise in COVID-19 cases in the winter has passed its peak, and the overall quarantine situation is stabilizing,” South Korea’s Minister of Home Affairs and Safety, Lee Sang-min, was quoted as saying by the Korea Herald.

Furthermore, Sang-min noted that new infections have decreased, with the average daily positive cases reaching 42,938 as of last week. This number shows a steady downward trend for three consecutive weeks. The number of critical patients last week also reached 439 cases, which is the lowest number in the last five weeks.

Meanwhile, until Wednesday (01/18), there were 36,908 new positive cases of COVID-19, including 80 cases from abroad. This number brings the total cases of COVID-19 in South Korea to 29,898,142.

For this reason, considering the situation with cases that continues to decline, Sang-min said that the government would decide the right steps and how far to change the policy on wearing masks indoors.

Meanwhile, in December 2022, the South Korean Government said it would take steps to cancel the rules related to COVID-19 in stages, if at least two of the four criteria were met. For example, like when there was a decrease in the number of infections for two consecutive weeks, critical cases and death rates also decreased.

Then, adequate ICU bed capacity to care for critical patients and strong inoculation rates, at least 50% among the elderly and 60% in high-risk facilities. [sources/photo special]