Korea to Scrap More COVID Restrictions

  • By Choi Eun-kyung

    September 21, 2022 10:16

    Korea is expected to scrap COVID tests for travelers from abroad after arrival and completely lift the outdoor mask mandate because this summer's resurgence of infections is receding.
    "We believe the peak of the resurgence caused by the Omicron subvariant has passed and the number of new COVID cases continues to dwindle," a health official told reporters Tuesday.
    "We're considering lifting the outdoor mask mandate completely since the risk of outdoor transmission is relatively low," the official added.
    Spectators wear masks during a baseball game at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Tuesday. /Yonhap
    Participants at gatherings of more than 50 must still wear face masks outdoors, even though the outdoor mask mandate was lifted on May 2.
    PCR tests for arrivals from abroad are likely for the chop as well. On Aug. 31, authorities lifted the obligation for travelers from abroad to show proof of a negative COVID test on arrival but kept PCR tests after arrival in place.
    Some restrictions on visiting patients in care homes are also likely to be scrapped.
    Masked children sit on a bench in a park in Seoul on Tuesday. /Yonhap
    Korea is the only country in the OECD that maintains a mask mandate for all kinds of indoor places, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. That has sparked calls to lift the nominal ban on wearing masks indoors as well.
    On Tuesday, the daily tally of new coronavirus infections stood at 41,286 as of Tuesday morning, down about 6,000 from the previous day.
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