The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries banned nighttime drinking and eating at large beaches across the country from Jul. 25th to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries initiated the administrative measure of said nature since Jul. 25th, focusing on large beaches nationwide that had more than 300,000 visitors last year. The Ministry has been conducting joint crackdowns with local governments and police.
There are 21 large beaches that are subject to the administrative measures, including Haeundae in Busan and Gyeongpo in Gangneung. Two in the Chungnam region were first to implement the policy, and starting on Jul. 25th, the remaining 19 were also under the measure.
The measure is applied from 7 pm to 6 am the next day. During this time, drinking or eating food is prohibited, and violators may be fined up to 3 million won according to Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries plans to apply this measure earlier in beaches in Busan and Gangwon, where visitors are particularly concentrated, by Aug. 31st.
The Ministry will also implement online signal lights, which inform the congestion levels of beaches, from 10 places to 50 places starting on Jul. 15th.
After analyzing 10 beaches where the light service is being implemented by the Ministry, a total of 1.804 million visitors visited beaches between Jul. 6th to the 12th, and about 40% of them were concentrated on the weekends.
By age, the 20s were the most with 22%. The 50s followed with 20%, the 30s and 40s with 18% and the 60s with 13%, respectively.
The number of visitors by time zone was generally less than 50% of the appropriate number of people in all time zones, but the lights turned yellow for Songjeong Beach in Busan with 119.6% more than the appropriate number of people on July 11-12.
The Ministry plans to send disaster texts via the local government when the light turns red to limit the number of visitors.
At the same time, the main entrance to the beach and parking lot will be closed, and the rental of parasols and leisure equipment will be suspended. Various measures will be taken to limit the use of beaches, such as announcements on compliance with the preventive regulations every 20 minutes.
Upon analyzing the visitor patterns of the beach reservation system in Jeonnam, 688 (19%) of the 3,612 people who visited six beaches such as Oedaldo, Ungcheon, and Pungnyu entered through reservation after Jul. 10th.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said, “There were many on-site reservations in the early stages of the reservation system. Once the social distancing stage is downgraded in Jeonnam, we will actively promote the reservation system and the use of beaches in the Jeonnam area.”
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