South Korea to begin gradual return to normal life from next month: President

As the South Korea vaccination rate surpassed the key milestone of 70 per cent, the country will take steps toward a gradual return to normal life from the Covid-19 pandemic next month. South Korean, President Moon Jae-in said on Monday.

Notwithstanding the measures, however, some anti-virus restrictions, including a mask-wearing rule, will remain in place after November to continue to slow the spread of the virus, Moon said in a budget speech at the National Assembly. Some 35.9 million of the nation's 51.3 million population had been fully vaccinated, marking a precondition set by the government to return to normalcy, according to reports.

The president said, "Based on stable containment and high vaccination rates, we are commencing a gradual return to normal life. "It will begin being implemented in earnest in November." Describing the return to normalcy as a "threshold of hope", He pledged to provide support for small merchants and vulnerable people hit by the pandemic.

South Korea has proposed a record-high budget of USD 519 billion for next year as it plans to maintain expansionary fiscal spending to cement the economic recovery and narrow social gaps caused by the pandemic. The proposed budget marked an 8.3 per cent on-year rise from this year's 558 trillion-won budget.

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