The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said Thursday it is introducing a reservation system for the nation's beaches in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Sixteen popular beaches will now require a reservation. They are Haeundae, Gwangalli, Songdo, Dadaepo and Songjeong in Busan; Gyeongpo, Naksan, Sokcho, Samcheok, Mangsang, Maengbang, Chuam and Hajodae in Gangwon Province; Ilsan and Jinha in Ulsan; and Goraebul in North Gyeongsang Province.
However, visitors to Jeju Island or South Chungcheong Province don't have to worry about making a reservation, as the system is being run on a voluntary basis and the governments of those two areas decided to take other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
If the destination is not one of the 16 and not located in Jeju or South Chungcheong Province, a person can check if reservations are necessary on www.seantour.kr, a service provided by KT Corp and the ministry, and make a reservation there. For the 16 popular beaches, only on-site reservations will be possible.
"Because of overseas travel bans, the nation's beaches are expected to be busy this year. We are hoping this measure can help people enjoy the beaches while staying healthy," a ministry official said during a press conference, Thursday.
Separately, visitors at the nation's 270 beaches will be asked to have their temperature checked and personal information collected in case of possible infections and to effectively tracing their whereabouts.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said Korea reported 59 new infections Wednesday, pushing the country's total to 12,198. There have been 280 deaths.
Among the 59, eight cases involved people who traveled overseas recently. Among 51 domestic cases, 41 involved people from Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, while seven were from Daejeon.
The seven from Daejeon were linked to a church and a multi-level marketing company which have become the source of new outbreaks in the last few days. As of Thursday noon, the accumulated number of cases linked to the marketing company is 18 while the church-linked cases are up to seven.
In Seoul and Gyeonggi Province, cases linked to another multi-level market company, Richway, led the daily new counts. Thursday saw an additional four cases linked to the company, bringing the total to 180.
Four new cases were linked to a Seoul Metro employee who was confirmed infected Monday.
Chung-Ang University Hospital in Seoul had part of its facilities closed after one visitor was confirmed to have COVID-19 the previous day.
The quarantine authorities said they are watching the recent developments closely, adding they were not ruling out a scenario where the number of cases jumps exponentially again as seen in Daegu in February.
"The likelihood is high that the pandemic will last longer. And we're making preparations for a long-term fight," said Yoon Tae-ho, the official responsible for quarantine measures.
I am so freaking jealous. I'm close to the coast in California and the quickness in which some of the beaches opened up is still so alarming to me.
source: The Korea Times