More than half of Koreans were in favor of lifting the indoor mask mandate, a survey showed.
The survey, conducted by Professor Yoo Myung-soon’s team at Seoul National University College of Public Health and Kstat Research, asked the opinions of 1,000 Koreans 18 and older on the indoor mask mandate.
It found that 55.5 percent approved lifting indoor mask rules, while 41.8 percent were against removing the rules.
The survey also found that younger people favored not wearing masks indoors. Those in their 20s and 30s were most favorable to removing the indoor masks with 64.6 percent, followed by 40s and 50s (56.6 percent), over 60s (49.2 percent).
Also, those who had Covid-19 were more likely to favor not wearing masks indoors (60.3 percent) than those who never tested positive for the virus (54.3 percent).
Among those who were in favor of removing face masks indoors, 439 respondents said the government should take steps to remove indoor face masks at select facilities immediately.
Notably, respondents were most in favor of lifting indoor masks in multi-use facilities such as restaurants and cafes (64.2 percent). Respondents were least in favor of removing masks in medical facilities (5.7 percent).
The ruling People Power Party on Thursday also asked the central government to remove polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing after entering Korea from overseas, allow face-to-face visits at nursing facilities, lift indoor masks for infants and children, and prepare quarantine in preparation for a possible twindemic of Covid-19 and seasonal influenza.
On Thursday, Korea added 36,159 new Covid-19 infections, including 252 cases from abroad, bringing the total caseload to 24,740,635, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The nation also reported 46 more Covid-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 28,364. The fatality rate stood at 0.11 percent. The number of critically ill patients came to 375, down 26 from the previous day, the KDCA said.
According to the KDCA, about 44.67 million among 52 million Koreans have been fully vaccinated. In addition, about 33.59 million people had received their first booster shots, and 7.43 million had their second booster shots.