SEOUL, May 14 (Korea Bizwire) — With the Seoul Metropolitan Government reviewing the idea of designating eleven Han River parks as non-alcohol drinking zones, citizens have responded with mixed emotions.
Under the Public Health Improvement Act that was revised in December 2020, municipal governments can designate certain areas as non-drinking zones in case such measures are needed to prevent damages from harmful drinking as well as to promote the improvement of public health.
Those caught while drinking in such zones can face fines of up to 100,000 won (US$88.56).
Under the revised law, the city government is now engaged in an internal review of a proposal to designate non-drinking zones in Han River parks, based on the judgment that the spread of COVID-19 still remains uncontrolled and the risk of infection is high.
However, a significant number of citizens have raised objections, saying that they don’t understand why the municipal government is taking such move now despite the fact that the pandemic started in February last year.
“Our life has been restricted for more than one year due to the pandemic. If we are banned from drinking a beer by the Han River, it could make our life too stifling,” an office worker surnamed Chung said.
In contrast, a 31-year-old man surnamed You said “Drinking alcohol can lead to a variety of accidents. In addition, given that the Han River Park is not a small park, I think such a measure is not bad in light of safety.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), among the 168 countries that implement restrictions on alcohol consumption, 102 countries restrict the consumption of alcohol in streets and parks.
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)