The government will decide by the end of this month whether to lift its indoor mask mandate.
Interior and safety minister Lee Sang-min revealed the plan on Wednesday while chairing a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters as the city of Daejeon and South Chungcheong Province are considering moves to lift the mandate locally.
The minister stressed the utmost importance of maintaining a consistent quarantine system nationwide now in light of the fact that the final hurdle of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected in the winter.
Lee said it is desirable for local governments to continue making decisions on key quarantine measures, such as indoor mask mandates, in consultation with the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters as has been the case throughout the pandemic.
On COVID-19 cases in the nation, he said that although the number of cases dropped slightly last week after rising for six weeks, uncertainties remain.
Lee cited the reproduction index, or the number of infections caused by a single patient, standing at over one for seven straight weeks while the new daily caseload reached the highest figure for a Wednesday in 12 weeks.