Government to resume distributing discount coupons for museums, theatres

20-Oct-2020 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The government will resume the distribution of discount coupons for museums, live performances, movie theaters and sport facilities later this week to boost domestic consumption that has slowed due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, officials said Monday.

The government’s discount coupon programme is focused on supporting industries hit hard by the virus outbreak and getting the economy back on track.

The resumption comes about two months after the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism halted the programme following the resurgence of COVID-19 clusters centered on the Seoul metropolitan area in August that led the government to raise the three-tier social distancing guidelines from Level 1 to Level 2.

The government lowered the guidelines to Level 1, October 12, based on the belief that the country’s coronavirus situation had been showing signs of a slowdown.

“The virus situation was relatively stable around the time the distancing guidelines were lowered to Level 1,” minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo said. “Many small business owners and the self-employed have had a hard time when the country was under Level 2. The time has come to keep a balance between anti-virus efforts and life.”

Beginning Thursday, the government will provide 40 percent discounts for entrance to museums, and 1,000 won ($0.88) to 3,000 won discounts for art exhibitions. The government will also offer 8,000 won discounts for live performances.

For movies, 6,000 won discounts will be offered for booking from October 28, which can be used from October 30.

For sports facilities, people who spend more than 80,000 won between November 2 and November 30 will get a 30,000 won refund from their credit card companies through a draw.

The resumption of the programme, however, is raising concerns over another massive outbreak as the programme is encouraging people to go to places where many gather at a time when the new daily cases has continued to hover around 100 amid continuous sporadic infection clusters across the country.

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), the nation added 76 cases including 50 locally transmitted cases for Sunday, raising the total caseload to 25,275. The daily figure slightly decreased from 91 identified Saturday.

Regarding concerns, minister Park stressed, “The resumption of the programme does not mean that the government is neglecting its anti-virus efforts.”

He said operators of the facilities, to which discount coupons are applied, are required to comply with anti-virus guidelines set by the government, while residents are also asked to follow the guidelines to receive the coupons.

Park added that the government has yet to decide on whether to offer discount coupons for accommodation, travel and restaurants as COVID-19 concerns linger, noting that the decision will be made in consideration of changes in the situation.


Category: Korea

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