South Korea makes Covid-19 testing mandatory for Chinese travelers

SEOUL: South Korea will impose mandatory Covid-19 tests on tourists from China, joining the United States (US), Japan and other countries as a new step after Beijing’s decision to withdraw its strict Covid-zero policy.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said the country would also limit the issuance of short-term visas for Chinese nationals until the end of next month.

He said the government would temporarily halt the increase in flights from China by making Incheon International Airport the only entry point for any flights from the neighboring country.

Effective January 5, travelers from China are required to submit a negative result from a PCR test no later than 48 hours or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours before departure, in addition to undergoing another PCR test upon arrival from January 2.

“We need to immediately prepare for any domestic ripple effects following the relaxation of China’s quarantine regulations.

“We will be prepared to take more drastic measures if the situation worsens, if we see a rapid increase in infections from the arrival or emergence of new variants,” said Duck-soo.

Starting this month, China began to ease its Covid-19 restrictions, causing a new wave of infections, prompting other countries to impose or consider imposing restrictions on tourists from the country. – Reuters

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