South Korean gyms ban upbeat music due to COVID-19 restrictions

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For fitness freaks in South Korea, gyms will allow buoyant, jaunty K-pop superstar group BTS hit songs “Dynamite” and “Butter” but not top bubbly, bouncy jams on Billboard’s Top 100 like “good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo and “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran because of new COVID-19 rules, according to a report.

Music that is higher than 120 beats per minute (bpm) during group workouts like aerobic or spin classes is no longer permitted in order to keep warriors in exercise rooms and health clubs from panting too fast or sweating on people around them.

A Seoul gym owner Kang Hyun-ku told Reuters his space plays fast-paced music.

“Playing bright tracks is to cheer up our members and the overall mood, but my biggest question is whether playing classical music or BTS songs has proven to have any impact on spreading the virus,” Kang said. “Many people use their own earphones and wearable devices these days, and how do you control their playlists?”

People exercise at a gym in Seoul on July 13, 2021, as South Korea announced implementation of level 4 social distancing measures amid concerns of a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. 
(Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images))

South Korea’s streak of more than 1,000 daily coronavirus cases has reached a week as health authorities scramble to slow a viral surge that has brought Seoul’s thriving nightlife to a standstill and professional baseball to a halt.

Authorities said Tuesday that more than 800 of the 1,150 new cases are in the greater capital area, where officials have shut down nightclubs and prohibited private social gatherings of three or more people after 6 p.m. 

The Associated Press reports that only about 30% of South Koreans have received their first doses of vaccines.

There are signs the virus is spreading beyond the Seoul metropolitan area as the country enters its summer holiday period. Busan, Daegu, Daejeon and South Chungcheong Province are among the major cities and regions that reported dozens of new infections.

South Korea has added more than 13,000 cases this month alone, bringing its total for the pandemic to 170,296, including 2,046 deaths from COVID-19. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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