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South Korea removes COVID-19 PCR testing for inbound travellers from Oct 1

South Korea removes COVID-19 PCR testing for inbound travellers from Oct 1

Medical staff in protective gear taking samples from a foreign passenger at a coronavirus testing booth outside Incheon International Airport near Seoul. (Photo: AFP/Jung Yeon-je)

SEOUL: South Korea will remove the COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing requirement for inbound travellers starting from Oct 1 (Saturday), reported Yonhap news agency on Friday. 

Currently, inbound travellers are required to take a PCR test within 24 hours of their arrival. 

The move means all COVID-19 restrictions on inbound travellers will be lifted, said the agency.

Earlier this month, South Korea removed the mandatory pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirement for inbound travellers.

The South Korean government has been easing COVID-19 restrictions recently as infections in the country gradually decline.

South Korea reported 28,497 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, compared with 29,097 cases the week before.oves covid 19 pcr testing for inbound travellers

The proportion of infections from overseas has also dropped. It decreased to 0.9 per cent in September, from 1.3 per cent the previous month. The fatality rate of the BA.5 subvariant is quite low, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said, citing these as reasons for its decision to ease COVID-19 measures.

But South Korea could step up restrictions again if it sees the emergence of risky virus variants and the global virus situation changes, Second Vice Health Minister Lee Ki-il said in a virus response meeting.

"We are at the final stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect another wave in winter, but we will finally overcome the virus through thorough preparations," Lee said.

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Source: Agencies/yb(gr)
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