Seoul to allow gyms, indoor golf driving ranges to extend operations until midnight
Seoul would allow gyms and indoor golf driving ranges in two wards to extend operations by two hours until midnight for one month to help them cope with operational expenses.
The trial period will begin Saturday in the Mapo and Gangdong wards on the condition that the gyms and driving ranges comply with more stringent antivirus measures, such as wearing masks, COVID-19 testing for employees every two weeks, limiting the number of customers after 10 p.m. and ventilating the facilities.
The two wards were chosen due to their good records on containing COVID-19 and the physical distance between them.
The city expects each ward to choose around 170 establishments.
According to Park Yoo-mi, a disease control official at the Seoul metropolitan government, they chose gyms and indoor driving ranges because they run on a membership basis, making it easier to keep track of users and naturally operate until the late hours.
Park said other establishments, such as private academies and swimming pools, were deemed to have little to gain from extending their hours.
On the other hand, they excluded restaurants, coffee shops, and karaoke as these are mask-free settings that have been the source of numerous recent outbreaks.