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No Christmas cheer in South Korea as COVID rules create confusion

Moon administration losing support over handling of pandemic

People wearing face masks pass a Christmas tree on a shopping street in Seoul last month.

SEOUL -- Kim Soo-young was planning to spend Christmas Day hosting family at her home in southern Seoul, having invited her parents, as well as her younger brother and sister-in-law, to dinner at the apartment where she lives with her husband and 2-year-old daughter.

She knew that due to rising coronavirus cases, the family would not be able to get together at a restaurant, as private gatherings of more than four people are currently prohibited in the capital area, but she read in news reports that family gatherings at home were exempt from the restriction.

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