This file photo shows President Moon Jae-in. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in appealed to the public Tuesday to continue supporting the government's fight against the rapid spread of COVID-19.
He posted the message on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, as tougher social distancing restrictions took effect at the start of the day in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, where around half of South Korea's 52-million population reside.
"I am very sorry for the increased inconvenience again in daily life and difficulties in the people's livelihoods," Moon wrote.
Under the Level 2 guidelines, the third highest in the nation's five-tier social distancing system, the operation of some businesses is limited and public gatherings are restricted, among various measures.
The president stressed that thorough social distancing and preventive virus control are the only way to curb the spread of the virus.
He asked the people to join forces once again so that the COVID-19 situation can be stabilized at an early date.
He also cited the urgency of flattening the curve ahead of the annual state college entrance exam scheduled to be taken on Dec. 3 by nearly half a million students and others across the country.
"In particular, ensuring that the CSAT, which is nine days away, is held safely is the responsibility of the whole society," Moon emphasized. "The best way for now is to break the upward trend of coronavirus infections at the earliest possible date." CSAT is the acronym for College Scholastic Ability Test. (Yonhap)