The Seoul metropolitan area and the southern city of Gwangju have adopted regulations to enforce stricter social distancing amid a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, social distancing level in Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province was increased to Level 1.5 (South Korea uses a 5-tier scheme with 0.5 intervals, with 1 being the lowest), meaning that concrete measurable social distancing rules will be imposed in addition to mandatory face masks.

Food businesses will have to distance tables at least 1 meter (3.3 feet) from one another or alternatively fill every other table or install shields between them. Other entertainment businesses will have to reduce the occupancy to one person per 4 square meters (43 square feet).

Rallies and demonstrations, as well as “high-risk” mass assembly such as where people sing or chant, will be limited to 100 people.

Businesses and rally organizers violating the new social distancing regulations will be fined 3 million won ($2,700), while people not wearing masks in public will face an up to 100,000-won fine.

The new rules will take effect in Gwangju beginning from Thursday and in Incheon beginning from Monday for an initial period of two weeks.

The daily increase in the number of coronavirus cases in South Korea had kept between 60-150 since mid-October, but spiked almost threefold over the past several days. On Wednesday, 313 new cases were confirmed, the highest daily increment since late August.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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