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2022 COVID-19 Prevention/Healthcare Measures for the Chuseok Holiday

  • Date : 2022-09-07
  • Hit : 7583

2022 COVID-19 Prevention/Healthcare Measures for the Chuseok Holiday

2022년 추석 방역·의료대책


AUG 31, 2022

This year’s Chuseok is the first traditional holiday since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic where social distancing/limitation on number of people allowed to gather is not applied.

While the number of confirmed cases continues to decline, due to the spread of the strongly infectious BA.5 variant and the reduced effect of vaccination as time passes, continuous attention is needed and caution is encouraged in relation to COVID-19 infection during the holiday.

Therefore, while there are no restrictions in terms of social distancing and the number of people allowed to gather under the general healthcare system, to ensure a comfortable and safe holiday, the following information is provided on infectious disease prevention measures in daily life.

People are strongly encouraged to comply with these measures when visiting their hometowns or attending family gatherings and using healthcare services related to COVID-19 during the holiday.

<1> Guidance on daily measures to prevent the spread of infectious disease to protect our families

While there is no restriction on family gatherings during this Chuseok holiday, we recommend the highest level of caution for those experiencing related symptoms and shortened gatherings when meeting with those in high-risk groups including seniors and those with underlying diseases, as well as small-group gatherings with relatives.

In particular, if related symptoms are experienced or elderly parents have not been vaccinated or received only one shot, we request that people refrain from visiting them and that they wear masks when staying indoors and ventilate regularly when meeting with the elderly or those with underlying diseases.

Moreover, the active use of contact-free forms of greeting and online remembrance/family grave-site visits (www.15774129.go.kr) is recommended. Also, the number of people participating in ancestral rituals including memorial services should be minimized.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters also recommends compliance with the preventive measures during the entire holiday until returning to daily life.

Before leaving for your hometown, if you have any symptoms related to COVID-19, please receive medical treatment and postpone your visit. Vaccination is strongly advised following the vaccination recommendation. On public transportation, the indoor mask mandate will be maintained and it is encouraged to refrain from eating on public transportation.

When meeting elderly people, please make sure to wear a mask and comply with the personal hygiene measures including hand-washing. If you experience COVID-19 symptoms before returning to work, please receive treatment in advance. Even when the test results are negative, minimize contact with other people.

<2> Guidance on preventive measures for multi-use facilities during the holiday

The government has minimized limitations on the use of facilities expected to be crowded during the Chuseok holiday but is planning to conduct strict inspections and management so that people can use them comfortably.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters will assign additional resources for guidance on using Q-Code and queuing respectively to mitigate congestion in airport terminals and will provide guidance including disinfection before operation and regular ventilation as well as preventive measures such as the indoor mask mandate for buses and trains.

For international arrivals, the mandatory pre-entry COVID-19 testing has been exempted (from Sep. 3), while maintaining the requirement of a PCR test within 1 day of arrival. COVID-19 test centers located in the airport that provide testing and issue certificates of negative results for inbound/outbound travelers will continue to operate.

During the Chuseok holiday, The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters are considering exempting toll fees for all vehicles using expressways. Indoor eating at expressway rest stops/motorway service stations and on buses and trains will be allowed. There will be regular information provided on crowdedness of rest stops, regular disinfection/ventilation, and continuous guidance on the indoor mask mandates, etc., through announcements, etc.

For facilities vulnerable to infection including care hospitals/facilities, we will maintain the preemptive testing of employees and limitations on in-person visits with patients and will provide healthcare support utilizing the general healthcare system and healthcare mobile teams during the holiday.

The current preventive measures such as preemptive testing for employees, contactless visits with patients, and restrictions on going out and staying overnight outside will continue to be applied for the residents/patients.

Preemptive testing of employees will be strengthened, including through rapid antigen tests (RAT) at home on the day before going to work and one additional test after coming to work. Regular checks for fever and respiratory symptoms will be conducted two times a day for patients/employees before and after the Chuseok holiday.

Meanwhile, an emergency hotline among care facilities, local governments, and healthcare institutions will be established and healthcare support will continue through healthcare mobile teams and one-stop treatment institutions, etc., that operate during the holiday.

Traditional markets and department stores will conduct joint infection control inspections, operate emergency hotlines, and designate infection control managers who will provide guidance on preventive measures to be complied with by visitors and workers at all times.

Merchant associations, local agencies of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, and local centers of the Agency for Traditional Market Administration will reinforce internal infection prevention inspections, including ventilation and disinfection in market stores. An emergency hotline among department stores and large supermarkets, local governments, and the central government will be operated to conduct joint field inspections.

Mandatory infection prevention rules as well as infection prevention measures through the performance/exhibition hosts will be recommended while posting infection prevention rules online/offline and providing information to the public on infection prevention rules including regular ventilation/disinfection.

<3> Guidance on COVID-19 healthcare services during the Chuseok holiday

① For COVID-19 diagnosis/testing

Nationwide, there will be 603 screening centers (260 local health centers and 343 healthcare institutions) operated during the holiday, and their operational status will be posted on E-gen (e-gen.or.kr) and the portal-websites Naver, Daum, etc.

In particular, temporary screening centers at transportation hubs that will additionally operate during the holiday (nine expressay rest stops) will provide free PCR testing over the holiday period.

Self-test kits are currently allowed to be sold at all convenience stores (until Sep. 30) and can also be purchased at convenience stores and pharmacies that operate during the holiday as well as online.

② Confirmed cases of COVID-19 (at-home treatment)

Medical Consultation Centers and Administrative Information Centers that provide medical consultation and guidance throughout the holiday will operate to provide at-home treatment for those who are confirmed to have COVID-19 during the holiday.

More than 148 Medical Consultation Centers will provide consultation on symptoms during the holiday, and information on the status of centers by date and operation hours will be provided online (ncov.mohw.go.kr and www.hira.or.kr).

Guidance on support for the daily lives of those receiving at-home treatment and on healthcare institutions and pharmacies that are open during the holiday will be provided during the holiday period through Administrative Information Centers and Dedicated Teams for At-Home Treatment.

To ensure that the process from diagnostic testing to treatment prescription is operated without disruption during the holiday, more than 5,300 (cumulative) one-stop treatment institutions and nearby pharmacies in charge of oral treatment prescription will be operated during the holiday.

However, for regions where there is a shortage of one-stop treatment institutions, people can temporarily receive oral treatment during the holiday through nearby local healthcare centers.

Meanwhile, cold medicines can be purchased at pharmacies operating during the holiday, and some cold medicines and fever reducers/painkillers that are under the safety reserve medicine category will be sold at 24-hour convenience stores.

If symptoms aggravate during at-home treatment, people can be referred for hospitalization by contacting the local health center/Medical Consultation Center or request transfer to a hospital after receiving a medical examination interview from a one-stop treatment institution during the holiday based on the judgment of healthcare workers.

In case of an emergency including a high fever/difficulty breathing, contact your district’s 119, which will transfer you to a nearby emergency medical institution to receive ER treatment. If needed, you may be assigned to a hospital bed and hospitalized.

For patients requiring hospitalized treatment, including infants, expectant mothers, dialysis patients, etc., a special hospital bed operation plan by city/province will be established and the special treatment bed operation system will be maintained.

The special treatment bed operation system will be maintained, including through identifying the operational status of hospitals by date during the holiday and by city/province and securing beds for infant/childbirth/dialysis patients for preparedness for hospitalization.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters asks that the public incorporate compliance with infection prevention rules into their daily lives and receive COVID-19 diagnostic testing and treatment if any symptoms are present before or after visiting their hometowns to ensure a comfortable and safe Chuseok holiday this year.

//For inquiries contact Media Relations, Ministry of Health and Welfare

044-202-2047 or fairytale@korea.kr


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