• Kyodo

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Local South Korean governments announced Monday a plan to ban gatherings of more than 4 people in Seoul and surrounding metropolitan areas to stem the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

The new measures will take effect from Wednesday and last until Jan. 3, and will apply to the capital as well as Gyeonggi Province and the city of Incheon, according to statements released from the governments.

The administrative orders come as year-end gatherings are expected to increase despite a recent spike in daily confirmed cases in the country.

“Without decreasing the cluster infection cases that are spreading through gatherings with family, acquaintances, colleagues and friends, we cannot overcome the current crisis. This is our last chance to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases,” Acting Seoul Mayor Seo Jeong-hyup said during an emergency briefing on Monday.

South Korea reported 926 new infection cases on Monday, after reporting a daily figure of more than 1,000 new cases during the past week.

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