All foreign students entering South Korea for the first semester of 2021 will need to undergo no fewer than three COVID-19 tests.
The Ministry of Education announced on Wednesday plans for the management of foreign students which called for strengthened quarantine measures on incoming students to protect universities and local communities.
Students must receive a PCR test in their home countries within 72 hours prior to departure and submit confirmation of a negative result at the airport in South Korea. Those who fail to submit a confirmation document may not enter the country.
Students must undergo a second test within a day after arrival at a health clinic responsible for the region where they will be spending their mandatory two-week home isolation.
Finally, they must take a third test before their two-week quarantine is lifted.
The Ministry of Education added it would continue to enforce safeguards in place since last February and encourage foreign students to take online classes in their own countries or stagger their entry period.
However, with health authorities placing entry bans on individuals coming from Great Britain and South Africa to block variant strains of the COVID-19 virus, it appears students from those countries will not be allowed into South Korea for the time being.
The Ministry of Education also plans to strongly advise universities to monitor the health of foreign students isolating in separate dormitories or temporary quarantine facilities twice a day.
According to the ministry, 30-thousand foreign students entered South Korea in the second semester of 2020, down 65 percent from the first semester of that year and down 84 percent from the second semester of 2019.
Of the 56-thousand foreign students who entered the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic from March to December of last year, 165 tested positive.
Of those, 41 tested positive at the airport, while 124 tested positive while in isolation after entering the country.
However, there have been no cases of COVID-positive foreign students spreading the virus, an accomplishment educational authorities credit to cooperation with universities and local governments.