All kindergartens and schools in Seoul and its adjacent areas will resume limited in-person classes this week, the education ministry said Sunday, as the spread of the new coronavirus is showing signs of slowing down.
The move to be enforced until Oct. 11 is in line with the government's eased social distancing guidelines announced early last week amid a recent drop in new coronavirus cases.
According to the ministry, students at kindergartens and elementary, middle and high schools in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi Province will go to school for in-person classes starting Monday.
Attendance, however, will be limited to one-third in kindergartens and elementary and middle schools and two-thirds in high schools to ensure social distancing, the ministry added.
This means that students can go to school every other week or twice a week.
In-person classes in the greater Seoul area have been banned except for high school seniors since August 26 amid worries over a resurgence of COVID-19. Students have attended virtual classes instead.
But last Monday, the government eased social distancing rules in Seoul and its neighboring regions, making it possible for schools to resume in-person classes, albeit partially.
The education ministry plans to determine whether to ease restrictions on in-person classes further after assessing situations following the Chuseok holiday later this month given that the risk of spread of the virus could increase as people might be moving in droves during one of the country's largest traditional holidays.
On Sunday, South Korea reported 82 more COVID-19 cases, marking the first time in more than a month that the number has stayed below 100. (Yonhap)