Safety measures at Korean beaches in 2021

Safety measures at Korean beaches in 2021

haps Korea Magazine

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced its quarantine measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19 virus at the nation’s beaches this summer.

As the summer season is just around the corner, 267 summer beaches will open to the public sequentially from July, starting with the partial opening in June of Haeundae and Songjeong beach in Busan.

Compared to last year, this year, summer beaches are likely to be packed with more visitors who wish to relax and find themselves peace of mind, as the vaccinations have accelerated in the midst of raising concerns over the cluster infections of COVID-19 and the spread of the mutant viruses.

MOF has prepared safety measures for this year’s summer beach to minimize inconveniences to visitors and provide more thorough quarantine measures to contain the further spread of COVID-19 virus, via holding concrete discussions with local governments, the National Police Agency, Korean Coast Guard Agency, and the National Fire Agency.

Expanding the Scope of Contact-less Smart Protection

MOF plans to implement quarantine measures in a convenient manner, via introducing safety calls, body temperature stickers, and QR Codes to minimize the inconveniences of the visitors as well as promote active participation in complying with the measures.

Operation of Safety Call

Given the nature of the summer beach where entry control is hard to be conducted, autonomous cooperation of visitors is vital to make a list of visits. Last year, writing a manual list and certifying QR codes led to many concerns over the possible spread of the virus, leakage of personal information, technical difficulty with QR code management, and delay in entry.

Therefore, this year, MOF plans to provide ‘Safety Call’ service at beaches across the nation, where visitors are allowed to easily dial designated numbers assigned to each beach without experiencing any inconveniences from last year as well as worrying about infections.

Introduction of Body Temperature Stickers

MOF plans to introduce ‘Body Temperature Sticker’ which color differs depending on the temperature of an individual’s body. The sticker is expected to supplement the problems from last year, which caused delays in queues as every visitor had to wait in a long line to check his/her body temperature to enter the beach. In particular, the sticker will be actively used at beaches with a large number of visitors as well as during weekends and peak seasons to easily and quickly check whether visitors have a fever or not.

The newly-introduced sticker is a simpler version of a thermometer that changes to a different color once attached to body parts such as the back, hand, or wrist. It automatically changes color in real-time if the temperature is above 37.5℃, and continues to track the temperature for 24 to 48 hours.

Once the color of the sticker changes due to symptoms like fever, the particular visitor will be immediately notified to temporary waiting stations or management offices followed by a series of mandatory measures including reporting to a local medical center and conducting self-confinement.

Adoption of Safety Wristband and History Management of Facility Use

In the case of less-crowded beaches, visitors will be initially asked to measure their body temperature. Then they will be asked to wear a wristband during their stay at the beach to show their body temperature has been checked, allowing them to access multi-use complex and facilities such as restaurants. Moreover, every time they make a visit to these facilities including rental service centers, management offices, shower rooms, the history of their visit and use shall be tracked via QR codes and payment systems.

Disperse the Crowds

Second of all, MOF will expand the operational scope of congestion traffic lights, pre-booking systems, promotion of secluded beaches which were effectively used to prevent concentration of visitors last year.

Expanded Introduction of Congestion Traffic Lights Service

The traffic lights service utilized by big-data technology on information and communication indicates congestion levels in green(100% or less), yellow(100%~200% or less), red(200% or more) respectively, in comparison to the appropriate number of people.

Last year, the service was only conducted at 50 summer beaches, yet this year the ministry plans to proceed with the service in every beach across the nation, providing information on congestion to the public so that they can arrange their visiting schedule more conveniently.

The congestion traffic lights service can be found at portal sites such as NAVER, KAKAO, or at BADA Travel.

Expansion of Pre-reservation

In conjunction with last year’s pre-booking systems which satisfied visitors, MOF plans to expand the scope of pre-booking systems in 50 different summer beaches including 13 in Jeollanam-do, those in Gangwon, Incheon, Gyeongnam, and Gyeongbuk.

According to the visitor survey in 2020, a positive response to conducting the pre-booking system in terms of preventing of COVID-19(80.3%), and continuing the systems(86.2%) was reported.

In addition, pre-booking was made possible via portal sites such as NAVER and BADA Travel last year, but to address the problems of poor access to BADA Travel, this year, pre-booking is only available via a unified platform, NAVER starting from July 1, allowing the public to have better access to the system.

Enhancement of Operation on Allocation System on Site

Except for the pre-booking summer beaches, in the case of the other beaches, such as the ones near cities or larger beaches, there will be parasols assigned at every 2m distance to prevent possible density on site and to help visitors follow the safety measures during their stay.

Constant Promotion to Achieve Secluded Beaches

Moreover, given the effect to prevent concentration of travelers through designating 23 beaches as ‘Secluded Beaches’ last year, where only a few people visited with less density and the possibility of contact, higher convenience, and stunning views, MOF plans to designate additional 50 beaches as ‘Secluded Beaches’, allowing visitors to safely relax at a less-crowded summer beach.

MOF and relevant agencies will actively encourage visitors to comply with the quarantine measures at the beach, introduce the measures at train stations, highway rest stops, and via portal sites to help visitors fully enjoy the summer beaches as well as continue to guide the visitors on-site to thoroughly follow the measures by utilizing necessary tools such as drones.

Particularly, incentives will be given to encourage visitors to spend their vacation at pre-booking or secluded beaches rather than crowded beaches such as Haeundae and Gwangalli by providing discounts on their trips to neighboring fishing communities and etc.

The ministry will advise local governments that manage the beach sites to ban drinking and outdoor eating at night hours at large beaches with higher chances of COVID-19 infections and strengthen on-site inspections by airing out and disinfecting multi-use facilities on a regular basis, to implement thorough preventive measures in those facilities.

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