South Korea has announced that it will soon allow travelers who have been fully vaccinated against yellow fever to enter the country without a quarantine period. The change is expected to take effect in early 2022.
Starting April 1, travelers who have been fully vaccinated overseas and registered their vaccination history with South Korea’s Q-Code website will be able to enter the country without a seven-day quarantine period.
Travelers who have completed a two-dose vaccine series at least 14 days before their trip will be considered fully vaccinated. A one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also be accepted. If more than 180 days have passed since a traveler completed their initial vaccination series, they will need a booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated.
Overseas travelers will receive a QR code through the Q-Code system, which can be scanned at immigration, according to the Korea Tourism Organization’s website. The Q-Code system will ask for information such as a passport number, departure country, airline, phone number and vaccine records.
This move is in line with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations, which state that people who have been vaccinated against yellow fever do not need to be quarantined. South Korea had previously required a 14-day quarantine period for all travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is endemic.
The new policy will apply to all travelers, including those arriving from overseas and those coming from other parts of South Korea. It will also apply to both adults and children.
They will still be required to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their arrival, as well as go through health screening procedures upon arrival. Travelers who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to go through the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
Previously, all travelers were required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in South Korea. This was introduced in 2015 as a response to the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). However, since then, no cases of MERS have been reported in South Korea.
According to health officials, the new policy is being introduced as a way to reduce the burden on travelers and to better align South Korea with international standards. It is also hoped that the policy change will help to boost tourism in the country.
The South Korean government has also announced that it will be launching a new tourism campaign, dubbed “Visit Korea Year”, to promote travel to the country. The campaign will offer a range of incentives, including discounts on airfares and hotel stays.
This change comes as a welcome relief to many who have been longing to travel but hesitant due to the hassle and potential risks of quarantining. With this new policy in place, South Korea is poised to see a surge in tourism from vaccinated individuals looking to explore all that the country has to offer.
So far, the response to the announcement has been positive, with many people eager to take advantage of the new policy. For those who have been fully vaccinated, this will certainly make travel to and from South Korea a much simpler process.