SEOUL, Aug. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Wednesday that the government will keep a ban on in-person visits to nursing homes and long-term care hospitals for the elderly during the Chuseok fall harvest holiday in a precaution against COVID-19.
The policy guidance from the government came as daily COVID-19 cases rebounded to over 150,000 Tuesday, with health authorities staying vigilant against the resurgence of the omicron subvariant.
“It is a very regrettable measure, but it is inevitable for the health of the elderly,” Han told a virus response meeting.
In-person visits to nursing homes and long-term care hospitals for the elderly resumed in March last year, but the government reimposed the ban on such visits last month as daily infections and deaths spiked again.
Han asked children and teens to get COVID-19 vaccines, saying that vaccination is the only way to lessen the danger of the virus.
“Vaccination is the most effective means of protecting children and adolescents as well as adults,” Han said.
Next month’s Chuseok holiday runs from Sept. 9-12. Traditionally, Koreans head back to their hometowns to be with their family members and visit their ancestors’ graves to commemorate them.
Han said people will mark the upcoming Chuseok holiday without social distancing rules for the first time in three years.
Han said the government will soon announce anti-epidemic measures during the Chuseok holiday.