SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s national cemeteries began restricting visits Thursday to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus during the Lunar New Year’s Day holiday, the veterans affairs ministry said.
Seol, or Lunar New Year’s Day, is one of the country’s biggest traditional holidays during which families hold rituals to thank their ancestors and visit their graves. This year’s Seol falls on Friday, with the holiday period running from Thursday to Sunday.
During the four-day period, 11 national cemeteries across the country, including the Seoul National Cemetery and the Daejeon National Cemetery, will remain closed, with exceptions allowed for bereaved families of people whose death anniversaries fall during the holiday, it said.
While the virus curve has shown signs of a slowdown, health authorities have been urging citizens to refrain from traveling to their hometowns, as the situation in the Seoul metropolitan area has not stabilized yet.
“It was an inevitable decision made in consultations with the health authorities for the safety of the people who visit the national cemeteries,” the ministry said in a release.
To help citizens pay tribute to their ancestors, the ministry said it is providing platforms for online services.