| 24 June 2021, Thursday |

Face masks no longer needed outdoors in South Korea masks if inoculated against COVID-19

Face masks will no longer be required outdoors from July for those inoculated with at least one COVID-19 shot, South Korean authorities said on Wednesday.

The move is a bid to encourage older residents to get vaccinated as South Korea aims to immunize at least 70 percent of its 52 million people by September, from just 7.7 percent now.

People given at least one dose also will be allowed to gather in larger numbers starting June, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum told a coronavirus response meeting on Wednesday.

He said all quarantine measures would be adjusted in October once more than 70% of residents had received their first dose.

Over 60% of people aged between 60 and 74 had signed up for vaccination, Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said.

South Korea will begin vaccinating the general public aged between 65 and 74 from Thursday in over 12,000 clinics.

South Korea reported 707 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total tally to 137,682 infections, with 1,940 deaths.