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  • Seoul Prepares First Detailed Guidelines for Administrative Order for Mandatory Mask-Wearing
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  • Seoul Prepares First Detailed Guidelines for Administrative Order for Mandatory Mask-Wearing

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    As the administrative order for mandatory mask-wearing was implemented as of August 24, 2020, the number of inquiries about detailed guidelines has drastically increased.

    As the Seoul Metropolitan Government acknowledges the close relationship between the measure for mandatory mask-wearing and citizens' daily lives, the SMG is distributing detailed guidelines for immediate application in every aspect of citizens’ everyday lives. The detailed guidelines are comprised of five parts: ▴ the necessity of mandatory mask-wearing, ▴ targets of mandatory mask-wearing, ▴ spatial range of mandatory mask-wearing, ▴ exemptions from mandatory mask-wearing, and ▴ acknowledged types of mask-wearing.

    The spatial range of mandatory mask-wearing and exemptions from mandatory mask-wearing should be taken notice of, as these parts contain the detailed criteria about mask-wearing of which citizens want clarification. The spatial range of mandatory mask-wearing specifies that one must wear a mask in every indoor space and ▴ when coming into contact with people at a gathering, meeting, event, or public assembly or ▴ when there is a risk of coming into contact with people as it is difficult to maintain a distance of 2 meters from others outdoors.

    Exemptions from mandatory mask-wearing apply to ① when one is in an ordinary, private living space, ② when eating, and ③ when there is an inevitable reason, regardless of being indoors or outdoors.

    As the guidelines are being applied for the first time in the country, the SMG expects there will be some shortcomings in the actual application of the guidelines. Thus, the opinions of citizens will actively be accepted to continue improving the guidelines.

    Detailed Guidelines for Administrative Order for Mandatory Mask-Wearing

    [Overview of Administrative Order]
    ▶ Target: All residents and visitors throughout Seoul
    ▶ Content: Wearing masks indoors and outdoors ※ Except for inevitable cases such as when in an ordinary, private living space, eating food, etc.
    ▶ Period: August 24, 2020 (Mon.) - when the order is lifted

    ■ Necessity of Mandatory Mask-Wearing
    ○ Most Effective Way to Protect Oneself and One’s Neighbors
    - Risk of being infected decreases by 85% when wearing a mask (source: international academic journal THE LANCET, 2020)
    ※ 5 times higher possibility of being infected when not wearing a mask

    Prevention of additional infections through mask-wearing (source: Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
    ▪ Three individuals who were in the same moving vehicle with a confirmed patient for one hour: All negative
    ▪ 17 medical workers who came into contact with a confirmed patient who was hospitalized in their hospital for seven days: All negative
    ▪ Four workers of a cafe in which 28 confirmed cases were generated: All negative

    ■ Targets of Mandatory Mask-Wearing: All residents and visitors throughout Seoul
    ○ “Residents of Seoul” refers to individuals who are registered and actually living in an administrative district of Seoul.

    When a resident of Seoul visits an administrative district other than Seoul
    ▪ As the spatial range of the administrative order of mandatory mask-wearing is within Seoul, a resident of Seoul is not the target of mandatory mask-wearing when he/she visits an administrative district outside of Seoul.

    ○ “Visitors of Seoul” refers to individuals who are registered and actually living in an administrative district outside of Seoul but are currently in Seoul for any purpose including commuting, sales, and travel.

    ■ Spatial Range of Mandatory Mask-Wearing: Indoor and outdoor spaces located in an administrative district of Seoul
    ○ (Definition of “indoor space”) Everyone must wear a mask in all structures that are separated from the outdoors in all directions, such as means of transportation including buses, subway trains, ships, airplanes, and other vehicles, as well as buildings.
    ○ (Definition of “outdoor space”) Everyone must wear a mask in each case listed below.
    - When coming into contact with people at a gathering, meeting, event (performance), or public assembly

    Definition of “gathering,” “meeting,” “event,” and “public assembly”
    ▪ (Gathering, meeting, event) A gathering, meeting, or an event that is held by people who come together at the same place for the same purpose according to a predetermined agreement, appointment, or schedule
    ▪ (Public assembly) An assembly or gathering that is defined by the Assembly and Demonstration Act

    - When there is a risk of coming into contact with any person other than those with which one lives (family members) because it is hard to keep a distance of 2 meters

    ■ Exemptions from Mandatory Mask-Wearing: In ordinary private life and inevitable cases, such as eating

    ➊ When in an ordinary, private living space
    - When in a dwelling (at home)
    - When alone in a separate space or with people with which one lives (family members)
    ※ Everyone must wear a mask when anyone other than those living together visits a separate space

    Criteria for mask-wearing when using a vehicle (car)
    ▪ When alone or together with people with which one lives: Not wearing a mask permitted
    ▪ When together with any person with which one does not live: Mandatory mask-wearing

    ➋ When eating ※ One must wear a mask before and after eating, as well as when conversing
    - When having a meal or snack
    - When having any consumable, such as alcohol, cigarettes, tea, and coffee

    ➌ Other inevitable cases ※ When it comes to ②-⑤, one must wear a mask before and after activities

    ① When wearing a mask can lead to dyspnea or deterioration of health

    ▪ Infants younger than 24 months old
    ▪ Critical patients
    ▪ Patients with underlying respiratory diseases who find it difficult to breathe when wearing a mask

    ② When one must take off the mask for medical or sanitary activities

    ▪ When medical activities, such as examination, treatment, and administration, are possible only without a mask
    ▪ When performing personal sanitary activities, such as taking a bath, showering, washing one’s face, and brushing one’s teeth

    ③ When necessary for the smooth execution of public business

    ▪ When it is clearly difficult to achieve an objective while wearing a mask a mask during public business of the central or local government or public institution, such as foreign affairs, national defense, investigation, rescue, relief, press releases, etc.
    ▪ When one must follow a demand for identification by the central or local government or a public institution
    ▪ When one takes a picture of oneself (ID picture, passport photo, etc.) to submit to the central or local government or a public institution
    ▪ When a teacher or a lecturer creates an online lecture video following the untact education guidelines from the central and local governments

    ④ When one must take off the mask for one’s job or earning money

    ▪ When a professional singer, actor/actress, dubbing artist, broadcaster, model, artist, etc. becomes a main figure of audiovisual materials or a performance
    ▪ When an athlete participates in a game
    ▪ When a professional musician of a wind instrument performs on stage

    ⑤ When it is difficult to wear a mask due to the characteristics of the place

    ▪ When participating in water activities, such as swimming, etc.

    ※ One must wear a mask if one has a fever or respiratory symptoms, even when the exemptions from mandatory mask-wearing is applicable

    ■ Acknowledged Types of Mask-Wearing
    ○ Types of masks
    - All types of masks, including sanitary, surgical, droplet-proof and cotton masks, are permitted
    - However, wearing the “quasi-drugs” masks authorized by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety is strongly recommended

    Mask-Wearing Guidelines of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety
    ▪ KF94+ mask: When taking care of a suspected COVID-19 patient
    ▪ KF80+ mask
    ▪ When one has respiratory symptoms, such as cough and sore throat
    ▪ When an individual with vulnerable health or underlying diseases comes into contact with other people
    * Individual with vulnerable health: Elderly, children, pregnant women, individual with chronic disease
    ** Individual with underlying diseases: Individual with chronic lung disease, diabetes, chronic renal disease, chronic liver disease, chronic cardiovascular disease, hematologic malignancy, cancer patient receiving chemotherapy, patient taking immunosuppressive
    ▪ Droplet-proof & surgical masks
    - When one must wear a mask for many hours / during the hot summer season / when it is uncomfortable to breathe

    ○ How to wear a mask
    - Wear a mask that matches the size of your face and make sure to cover both your nose and mouth
    ※ Failure to cover your nose and mouth will be considered as failure to wear a mask

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