S.Korea to lift post-arrival PCR test requirement for travellers from China

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Seoul, Feb 22 (IANS) South Korea has decided to lift a requirement for travellers from China to take PCR tests after their arrival here from next month as the Covid-19 situation remains stable, an official said on Wednesday.

Though the post-arrival test requirement will be lifted on March 1, the pre-arrival test requirement will remain in place until March 10 to monitor the effect of the eased restrictions, Yonhap News Agency quoted Kim Sung-ho, a senior Interior Ministry official, as saying.

“We believe that an additional easing of quarantine measures will be possible,” he said.

South Korea has required travellers from China to show negative Covid-19 test results before boarding flights to the country and take an additional PCR test within the first day of their entry since early January amid a surge in cases in the neighbouring nation.

But China’s situation has since stabilized and South Korea has been lifting restrictions gradually.

On Wednesday, the government also decided to allow flights from China to land at other airports besides Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters.

The move comes as the rate of Covid-19-positive people among arrivals from China has subsided to 0.6 per cent in the third week of February from 18.4 per cent in the first week of January.

On February 11, South Korea resumed issuing short-term visas for Chinese visitors, and China also restarted issuance of short-term visas for South Koreans on February 18.

The government will also increase flights between South Korea and China from 62 per week to 80 per week by the end of this month and to 100 per week in March, the officials said.

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