Those planning to visit South Korea, the land of kimchi and K-pop, will be pleased to know that PCR tests will no longer be required upon arrival. The Yonhap news agency reported that this will be implemented beginning 1 October 2022 as a part of further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

This news comes as the coronavirus wave in the country subsides and follows the great news that Jeju island is now open for tourism as well. For instance, there were 28,497 cases reported on 29 September as compared with 30,881 cases the day before.

Lee Ki-il, the second vice minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare said in a press briefing, “All mandatory PCR tests for inbound travelers will be lifted starting 1 October.”

Prior to this, visitors to the country had to be tested for COVID-19 by the second midnight after their arrival. This marks the lifting of travel-related coronavirus restrictions as earlier mandatory quarantines and pre-arrival PCR tests were also no longer required.

Public health centres throughout the country still offer free tests for anyone showing symptoms of infection within the first three days of their arrival.

As for their mask mandates, it was announced recently that masks were no longer required for outdoor group activities. On 2 May the outdoor mask mandate had ended, but was kept in place for those in groups of 50 or more who gathered outdoors.

Earlier this month in Malaysia, our mask mandates for indoor settings were dropped except for those who are COVID-19 positive, using public transport, and in public facilities.

However, do take note that in South Korea, in light of the flu season, those heading indoors will still be required to mask up.