As Beijing struggles with a rise in Covid infections, South Korea took action on Friday to restrict visitors from mainland China, imposing visa limits, testing requirements, and limiting flights. To prevent importing novel coronavirus types from China, nations including Italy, Japan, India, and the United States announced their own steps before Seoul’s announcement.
“Until the February next year, those entering (South Korea) from China will be required to undergo a Covid test before and after their arrivals,” Seoul’s Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Friday. Travelers from China must present either a negative antigen test within 24 hours of departure or a negative PCR test performed within 48 hours before boarding a flight to South Korea. On the day of their arrival, Han added, a PCR test will also be needed.
Seoul is “inevitably strengthening some anti-epidemic measures to prevent the spread of the virus in our country due to the worsening Covid-19 situation in China,” Han added. After Beijing started rolling back strict restraints that had crippled the economy and provoked widespread demonstrations, China’s hospitals were overrun by an explosion in cases.
Since Beijing abolished the requirement for arrival quarantine, many nations have placed limitations on travelers from China. This has caused many people to make travel plans. Since Beijing closed the drawbridge in March 2020, Chinese citizens have been mostly limited to their home nation. Until the end of January 2020, South Korea will also restrict the issuance of short-term visas to citizens of China, excluding public officials, diplomats, and those with urgent humanitarian or business needs. Before the pandemic, Chinese visitors were drawn to South Korea’s southernmost island, Jeju, which has its international airport and unique visa entrance requirements.
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