South Korea will be lifting its requirement for a pre-arrival Covid test to enter the country from Saturday, according to local media reports.
The scrapping of pre-arrival tests would be for all arrivals into South Korea, regardless of their vaccination status or the country of departure. However, incoming travelers would still need to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) within 24 hours of their arrival into the country.
Currently, all inbound travelers to South Korea are required to submit the results of a polymerase chain reaction test taken within two days of traveling to the country or a rapid test taken within 24 hours. After arriving into the country, travelers are required to undergo a polymerase chain reaction test within 24 hours.
On Monday, South Korea’s advisory committee on infectious diseases, under the office of the prime minister, had advised the government to lift the mandatory pre-travel polymerase chain reaction test for inbound travelers.
“All inbound travelers, whether nationals or foreigners, arriving aboard a plane or ship will not need to hand in a negative polymerase chain reaction test starting midnight of September 3,” second vice health minister, Lee Ki-il, was quoted saying in a virus response meeting.
Japan and South Korea are some of the few countries that still ask for a pre-arrival Covid test from incoming travelers. Last week, Japan announced it would waive pre-departure Covid-19 tests for vaccinated travelers from September 7.
On Wednesday, South Korea reported around 104,000 new Covid cases, which brings the country’s total tally up to more than 23 million.