S.Korea to roll back ban on small church gatherings amid subsiding Covid cases

The South Korean government will lift its ban on small church gatherings other than regular worship services this week as new COVID-19 cases linked to such gatherings have subsided in recent weeks, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Wednesday.

The tougher anti-infection rules on Protestant churches will be cleared on Friday, the Prime Minister said during a regular government coronavirus response meeting.

Under the ban imposed on July 10 after a spike in cluster infections traced to small-scale church meetings, churches are barred from organizing small gatherings, including Bible classes, choir practices or prayer services, and offering group meals. They are also mandated to use quick response (QR) code-based entry logs for visitors, Yonhap news agency reported.

“Thanks to many Christian orders and worshipers who faithfully abided by quarantine guidelines, there have been few infection cases stemming from small gatherings involving churches,” the Prime Minister said during the meeting.

He also said that the government will send a military plane to Iraq on Thursday to bring home some 300 more South Korean nationals from the Middle Eastern country where COVID-19 cases are on surge.

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