South Koreans will be required to wear masks when using public transportation and taxis nationwide starting Tuesday as health authorities look for more ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus as people increase their public activities. Health Ministry official Yoon Taeho on Monday said masks also will be enforced on all domestic and international flights from Wednesday. From June, owners of “high-risk” facilities such as bars, clubs, gyms, karaoke rooms, and concert halls will be required to use smartphone QR codes to register customers so they can be tracked down more easily when infections occur.
In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
WUHAN CONDUCTS MASSIVE TESTING:
The Chinese city of Wuhan has conducted more than 6.5 million coronavirus tests over a 10-day period in a bid to test all its 11 million residents, state media said Monday.
SOUTH KOREA SENDS MASKS:
South Korea plans to send 370,000 face masks to tens of thousands of South Koreans adopted in the West to help them weather the coronavirus.
JAPAN LIFTS EMERGENCY:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and four other remaining prefectures on Monday, ending the declaration that began nearly eight weeks ago.
INDIA FLIGHTS BACK IN AIR:
Domestic airline travel partially resumed in India, which is easing its virus lockdown despite adding more than 6,000 new infections per day. At New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, passengers in masks or full protective suits stood in long lines to show identification and boarding passes to security personnel standing behind plastic partitions.
MORE AUSTRALIANS BACK IN SCHOOL:
Students in two more Australian states returned to school full-time as numbers of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the country fall. New South Wales and Queensland states joined the less populous Western Australia and South Australia states and the Northern Territory in resuming face-to-face learning instead of studying from home online.
FIJI AIRWAYS LAYOFFS:
Fiji’s national airline is laying off more than 750 staff, about half of its workforce, as it struggles for its survival.
NEW ZEALAND TO ALLOW CROWDS:
New Zealand plans to further loosen its coronavirus restrictions by increasing the maximum size of gatherings from 10 people to 100. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the change would take effect midday Friday.