Authorities have ordered the closure of more than 2,100 nightclubs, clubs and bars in Seoul city after a spike in dozens of coronavirus infections related to the reopening of these businesses last weekend in the well-known Itaewon neighborhood.

The administrative order signed by the mayor, Park Won Soon, implies the “immediate and indefinite suspension” of the activity for these businesses and threatens with “serious penalties” in case of non-compliance.

“The lack of concern can lead to an explosion of contagion. We have noticed this after the group infections in Itaewon clubs,” Park added.

On Saturday, Korean authorities reported 18 new infections, 17 of them related to an individual who visited five clubs last weekend. However, the number could increase because there are at least 1,500 registered cases at the clubs’ entrances, of which 1,300 could not be located.

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