February 10, 2023 11:27
Short-term visas for Chinese tourists will resume on Saturday as COVID infections among arrivals from the country have dropped and an emergence of new variants is unlikely, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety on Friday.
Chinese visitors will still have to show a negative COVID test and take another one on arrival, but the ministry said it will ease remaining restrictions gradually.
"Only around one percent of visitors from China are testing positive on arrival, which shows that infections have subsided, so we can ease quarantine measures," a health official said the previous day.
Korea temporarily halted short-term visas for Chinese people until the end of this month after COVID infections there spiked.
Visitors on long-term visas or who got their short-term visa before the halt must submit a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours and take another test on arrival. If they test positive they are quarantined for a week.
But now the rate of positive cases among arrivals from China fell from 31.5 percent in early January to just 1.4 percent in the first week of February.
China retaliated by halting short-term visas for Koreans even though infections had dropped here.
Meanwhile, COVID vaccinations for children aged six months to four years start here on Monday for the first time. They will be given three shots in eight-week intervals.
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