South Korea on Wednesday launched a mandatory entry log system using QR code-based registration at entertainment facilities, such as clubs and karaoke establishments, a move aimed at enabling health authorities to quickly trace anyone possibly exposed to the new coronavirus at such places.
All visitors to such facilities must sign the entry log, using a QR code-based registration system.
The facilities required to keep an entry log also include indoor training facilities, large-scale private academies, logistics centers and buffet restaurants.
Some 80,000 facilities throughout the nation are subject to the QR code-based registration system, according to health authorities.
Also in the capital region, internet cafes are also required to keep an online entry log.
Facilities that fail to keep an entry log or allow people to enter without signing in may face a fine of up to 3 million won ($2,500), in addition to a possible shutdown, according to the health authorities.
The system was launched for a test run last month as a series of cluster infection cases involving nightclubs and bars left the local authorities unable to immediately identify those who may have been exposed to the virus for weeks.
The QR code-based registration system will allow authorities to quickly identify those who may have encountered an infected person, and thus minimizing the time each potential patient may be spreading the virus.
Authorities said the personal information of people entering any facility subject to the scheme will be stored separately from their record of entry for privacy reasons and only be matched when needed to find them.
The QR code registration system is available in a smartphone app, Pass, jointly launched by three major mobile service providers here and also on the widely used messaging application, Kakao. (Yonhap)