Regarding the removal of vaccine pass requirement for large supermarkets, department stores, movie theaters, etc. from Tuesday, South Korean citizens expressed mixed opinions – some welcoming the decision for the reduction of inconvenience and others being concerned about the spreading of the omicron variant.
“It will be more convenient to shop groceries without having to bring out a vaccine pass every time,” said Mrs. Ko at a large supermarket in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul on Monday. “I shopped alone on behalf of my unvaccinated family members and I am relieved that I no longer have to do that,” said Lee Sang-geun.
Some expressed their concerns about the new measure. “As the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly, it is a hasty decision to remove the requirement of a vaccine pass,” said Mrs. Na at a movie theater in Mapo-gu, Seoul. A person surnamed Kim who often uses a study room, which is one of the businesses that will be no longer subject to vaccine pass requirement, said he feels more worried. “It is an unreasonable measure as COVID-19 is still raging,” said Mr. Park who works from home.
There was also some confusion as the government decided to remove the vaccine pass requirement on Monday but apply it from Tuesday. A large grocery store in Yeonsu-gu, Incheon allowed customers in without checking vaccine passes by mistaking the date and began checking again later. A woman in her 70s said she thought a vaccine pass wouldn’t be needed from Monday when an employee of a large grocery store in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province asked for a vaccine pass.
The businesses that will continue to be subject to the vaccine pass requirement, including internet cafes and indoor sports facilities, complained that the decision was unfair. “We also keep up with strict disease control measures and it is hard to understand why vaccine passes are required,” said Lee Il-ha who runs an internet café.