According to the ministry, museums, galleries, libraries, concert halls and theatres will shut down from May 29 to June 14 in Seoul, the nearby city of Incheon and the capital province of Gyeonggi-do. The authorities added that the new measure could be kept in place even after the deadline, as it depended on the coronavirus situation.
The new ban comes weeks after the authorities discovered a new cluster linked to a young man who visited several nightclubs in Seoul and tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in May. Separately, concerns are rising over a hotspot connected to a retail logistics centre in the city of Bucheon, which is 15.5 miles west of Seoul.
On Thursday, the country reported 79 new cases, which is the highest daily increase since early April, while on Friday, 58 new cases were confirmed. Some 90 percent of new cases this week have been registered in Seoul and surrounding areas.
Overall, South Korea has confirmed 11,402 COVID-19 cases and 269 coronavirus-related deaths since the start of the outbreak.