Quantcast

In South Korea, you can now be fined $90 for not wearing a mask in public

Airmen from the 51st Fighter Wing wear masks as they stroll outside Osan Air Base, South Korea, Oct. 21, 2020.

MATTHEW KEELER/STARS AND STRIPES

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: November 13, 2020

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — South Korean authorities will fine people who fail to wear masks in public up to 100,000 won, about $90, national broadcaster MBC and The Associated Press reported Friday.

Masks are now required in a wide range of venues, including restaurants, cafes, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, nightclubs, karaoke bars, wedding halls, cinemas, beauty shops, religious facilities, health clubs and on public transport such as buses and subways, according to the reports. Masks must also be worn at grocery stores and while waiting to order takeout food. At swimming pools or saunas, face coverings are required in dressing rooms.

People must also wear masks unless they can maintain at least 6 ½ feet distance from others while climbing, hiking or gathering with 500 or more people, the MBC report said.

Business operators can be fined up to 3 million won, about $2,690, if they fail to ask customers to wear masks, MBC reported. However, youngsters under 15 and those unable to wear a mask due to a disability are not subject to fines.

In Seoul, city employees are being sent to subway station and bus stops to monitor commuters, according to AP.

U.S. Forces Korea told Stars and Stripes in a statement Friday that it is aware of the new regulations.

“USFK has already directed that masks are mandatory for all USFK-affiliated individuals off-installation, and has informed our community that USFK individuals are subject to the fine if found in violation of [South Korean] laws and directives,” the statement said.

news@stripes.com
Twitter: @starsandstripes