S.Korea to lift post-entry PCR testing requirement

South Korea will lift a Covid-19 PCR testing requirement for inbound travellers on the first day of their arrival amid the waning wave of the pandemic, authorities said on Friday.

The measure will take effect on Saturday, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Currently, a PCR test is a must for inbound travellers within the first 24 hours of their entry into the country.

The decision means the removal of all anti-virus restrictions regarding inbound travellers.

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

Those who show virus symptoms within three days of their arrival here can undergo a free PCR test at public health centres across the country, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The government has eased anti-virus restrictions as the country has seen a gradual decline in infections recently.

On Friday, the country reported 28,497 new cases, compared with 29,097 infections a week earlier.

The proportion of infections from overseas has decreased to come to 0.9 per cent in September from 1.3 per cent the previous month, and the fatality rate of the BA.5 sub-variant is quite low, the KDCA said.

But South Korea could reinforce restrictions regarding foreign entrants if it sees the emergence of risky virus variants and the global virus situation changes, Second Vice Health Minister Lee Ki-il told reporters here.

“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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