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South Korea to ease entry requirements amid downward trend in Covid-19 cases

Currently, the mandatory test is required on the day of arrival. Picture: Reuters

Currently, the mandatory test is required on the day of arrival. Picture: Reuters

Published May 13, 2022

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Seoul - South Korea on Friday said it had decided to ease requirements to enter the country amid a downward trend in Covid-19 cases.

Starting May 23, the government will recognise negative rapid antigen test results for travellers boarding flights to South Korea, on top of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results currently being accepted, reports Yonhap News Agency.

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Still, rapid antigen tests must be carried out by medical professionals 24 hours before arrival in South Korea.

Beginning June 1, international arrivals will be required to undergo a PCR test within three days of their entry into South Korea.

Currently, the mandatory test is required on the day of arrival.

South Korea is set to increase the number of weekly flights on international routes to 762 in June from 420 in April and 532 in May amid growing air travel demand, Interior Minister Lee Sang-min said.

The decision came as South Korea's new daily infections have been on a downward trend in recent weeks after peaking at over 620 000 on March 17 amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

The government eased the outdoor mask mandate on May 2, except for gatherings of 50 or more, as it moves toward a return to normalcy.

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The indoor mask mandate remains in effect.

On Friday, South Korea reported 32 451 new Covid-19 infections, including 15 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 17,727,086, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

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