S. Korea to conditionally reopen national museums, libraries over easing coronavirus

SEOUL,  Ending an over-two-month closure due to the coronavirus outbreaks, South Korea will conditionally reopen state-run museums and libraries starting next week, the government said Friday.

Starting Wednesday, 24 key national history and art museums, as well as libraries, across the country will reopen their doors to the public under certain conditions in compliance with the government-advised social distancing guidelines, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters and the culture ministry.

The guidelines require the institutions to prohibit guided group tours or other sorts of gatherings and to keep the list of visitors and their contact numbers.

For libraries, book rental services will not be allowed until a future notice, except in the Sejong outlet of the National Library of Korea. Requiring visitors to wear protective masks is also one of the conditions.

The facilities subject to the reopening include the National Museum of Korea and its 13 regional branches, the four outlets of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, and the three arms of the National Library of Korea.

The National Folk Museum of Korea, the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History and the National Hangeul Museum are also part of the list.

The reopening decision came after South Korea managed to flatten the curve of new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

On Friday, South Korea reported nine new coronavirus infections, the third day in a row that the daily number was in the single digits.

The daily number came to four a day earlier, with no internally infected cases reported.

In late February, South Korea closed the 24 national cultural institutions along with other national theaters and art companies at the height of the local coronavirus outbreaks.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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