Gov't to Require All Incoming Foreigners to Submit COVID-19 Test Results
Written: 2021-01-07 11:31:08 / Updated: 2021-01-07 15:16:16
Anchor: Amid mounting concerns over new strains of COVID-19 originating from Britain and South Africa, South Korea will begin requiring all foreign travelers to submit virus test results upon entry.
Choi You Sun reports.
Report: According to the Central Disease Control Headquarters on Thursday, all foreigners who arrive in South Korea by air will be required to submit polymerase chain reaction(PCR) test results starting Friday.
The test outcome, indicating that they have tested negative for COVID-19, should be dated within 72 hours, or three days, prior to their departure.
Foreign travelers arriving by sea will have to follow the same rule starting January 15.
The latest measure comes amid rising concerns over new strains of the coronavirus originating from Britain and South Africa, both of which are reported to be up to 70 percent more contagious.
The virus strains have already been reported in some 30 other countries, and 15 cases were reported in South Korea as of Thursday, 14 of the strain from Britain and one of the South African variant.
In a bid to block entry of the new strain, a suspension on flights operating to and from London's Heathrow Airport, which was introduced on December 23, was extended for the second time until January 21.
Authorities lowered the entry temperature standard from 37-point-five to 37-point-three degrees Celsius last month, and began requiring overseas travelers to get tested twice before their 14-day quarantine ends.
Visa issuance was halted in Britain and South Africa, with the exception of diplomatic and humanitarian purposes.
Since October, the South Korean government has conducted additional tests for incoming travelers from Britain and South Africa to determine whether they have contracted the new strains. From last month, it has tested ten percent of all travelers.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.