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Korean restaurant chains cry foul over Covid-19 rules

South Korean restaurant chains are accusing the government of using “discriminatory countermeasures” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Recent edicts to prevent the spread of the latest outbreak in the country have seen the closure of buffet and family-style restaurants, while still allowing cafes to operate. Prominent chains CJ Foodville, Shinsegae Food and Elandeats have expressed their dissatisfaction with the discrepancy, which has involved multiple outlet closures and necessitated the dumping of fresh food.

“The largest number of coronavirus cases was confirmed at Starbucks coffee shop(s), but I don’t understand why restaurant chains are targeted,” a family restaurant worker told the Korea Times. “Starbucks closed its relevant branches for a few days and then they reopened them.”

The restaurant chains had previously instituted anti-Covid-19 precautions, such as checking the temperatures of customers and enforcing social distancing.

The Korea Times quoted one CJ Foodville official as saying: “It is our obligation to follow the government’s regulations, but we hope people don’t continue to think that our restaurants are high-risk after things get better.”

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