SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s agricultural ministry said Thursday it has collaborated with the country’s top online portal operator Naver Corp. to provide information on restaurants that follow guidelines on the prevention of the new coronavirus.
The government said earlier it will release data on restaurants that follow sanitary guidelines and induce people to dine out more without being excessively concerned about safety,
The new service offers locations of restaurants that have employees wear protective masks at all times and provide separate utensils for communal dishes and pots, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Sharing a dish provided simultaneously for a group is common practice in Korean culture, but the virus pandemic has made South Koreans opt for separate dishes.
As of this week, around 12,000 restaurants nationwide were designated as safe establishments. The ministry plans to continue to increase the number of businesses that follow the sanitary guideline.
The restaurants will be updated on a weekly basis, according to the ministry.
South Korea has recently seen an uptick in the number of new coronavirus patients.
On Thursday, the country added 125 more COVID-19 cases, including 110 local infections, raising the total caseload to 23,341, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The country’s new daily infections had been in the triple digits for more than a month since Aug. 14 due to cases tied to a church in Seoul and an anti-government rally before briefly falling below 100.
The COVID-19 pandemic has weighed down the nation’s economy, especially hurting the self-employed.
South Korea recently rolled out a new scheme, in which business owners with annual sales of 400 million won or less receive 1 million won (US$855) each if they experienced any dent in sales since the resurgence.
Owners of restaurants and cafes will receive 1.5 million won.
The country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 3.2 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter, the biggest on-quarter drop since a 3.3 percent retreat posted in the last three months of 2008, the central bank data showed.