Korea Scraps Pre-Boarding COVID Tests

  • By Choi Eun-kyung

    September 01, 2022 09:54

    Travelers no longer have to show proof of a negative COVID test on arrival in Korea from Saturday, but they still have to take a PCR test within a day after arrival.
    Health authorities made the announcement on Wednesday. The new policy will apply to all travelers, Koreans and foreigners alike who are boarding airplanes or ships bound for Korea, whether they are vaccinated or not.
    So far travelers had to submit a negative COVID test certificate on arrival, but Korea and Japan were the only OECD countries that maintained the requirement.  
    Travelers wait to get tested for coronavirus at Incheon International Airport on Wednesday. /Yonhap
    "The coronavirus pandemic is slowing down both at home and abroad for the first time in nine weeks," said Peck Kyong-ran, the chief of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. "We made the decision for the sake of many Korean nationals who are planning to arrive from abroad during the Chuseok holiday." 
    The original plan was to scrap the tests after Chuseok. 
    On Thursday morning, the daily tally of new infections dropped for a third day in a row to 81,573, but deaths soared to 112, the highest number in four months.
    Meanwhile, there will also be no restrictions on the number of people who can gather over the Chuseok holiday for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic. But authorities are asking people to exercise caution when meeting elderly or immunocompromised relatives. 
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