S.Koreans businesses protest against reintroduction of strict COVID rules

S.Koreans businesses protest against reintroduction of strict COVID rules ...

SEOUL, Dec 22 - One thousand South Korean entrepreneurs protested in Seoul on Wednesday over the return of strict social distancing rules to the government to pay their financial losses and scrap its "vaccine pass" policy.

South Korea this week, after easing them in November, as new infections and serious diseases continue to progress and seek treatment with a sprained vaccination rate of over 92 %.

A 10-p.m dining curfew compared to an impagnate rule that prohibits gatherings of more than four people without a vaccination. Unvaccinated individuals can only eat out alone or should use takeout or delivery options.

The reimposed curbs have triggered a who fear economic disaster, causing their troubles to become serious.

The government has offered an financial support and unveiled a new package last week, which includes 1 million won ($838) in relief for each of around 3 million businesses that have suffered revenue reductions.

But the protesters said such one-off measures aren't enough to make up their losses.

"I've followed the rules recently, but the government promised compensation, but they didn't keep that promise," said Yoon Sun-a who runs four restaurants in Seoul.

Lee Sang-baek, from Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, said he was "barely holding out on an empty hope for tomorrow," while many others have closed, disappeared bankrupt or even taken their own lives.

President Moon Jae-in apologised for reinstating the curbs and ignoring the virus spread or threatening to ensure adequate hospital beds.

The rally was mostly peaceful as organisers tried to meet the limit of 299 people on protests under the tightened curbs, although it was seen in the first tussle with the police as they tried to win the event.

On Tuesday, a week after a week, South Korea reported 7 456 cases of COVID-19, on 7 a week, taking total infections to 583,065, with 234 cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. 4.906 deaths occurred.

The number of serious cases hit 1.0033, another fresh high, where nearly 86% of intensive care unit beds were occupied in Seoul.

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