People entering Korea will no longer be required to submit the result of their PCR test, effective from Saturday. This change will apply to everyone – Koreans and non-Koreans, regardless of their port of departure or record of vaccination. “The change is in line with the global trend to discontinue the requirement for Covid-19 negative result,” Paik Kyung-ran, commissioner of Korea Dieses Control and Prevention Agency, said at her press briefing on Wednesday.
Travelers are still mandated to take a PCR within the first day of arrival – while the pre-arrival requirement is scraped, post-arrival remains status quo. Only the result of PCR will be recognized, but not that of the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) by professional.
“PCR requirement can be resumed if the situation turns around, such as emergence of highly deadly variant from other countries,” said Lee Ki-il, the second vice minister of Health and Welfare.
Airline and travel industries expect the removal of PCR test requirement will help boost the demand for overseas trips. Airlines are already newly operating or expanding international flights. Korean Air launched new lines for Budapest, Hungary on the same day the commissioner’s announcement, and is reviewing their option to resume Dubai and Chiang-Mai lines. Other carriers are also looking into their options in increasing flights.
“As the cost burden of taking PCR test before onboarding disappears, it will further encourage customers to take on their long-waited travel plans” a source from travel industry said. “Strong dollar and high inflation, however, could be a pressure against the trend.”
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