South Korea orders immediate PCR test on arrival as Covid wave surges

Rising Covid-19 caseloads across South Korea have forced the government to tighten its testing regime for arrivals, with all travellers entering the country from July 25 required to take a PCR test within 24 hours.

Currently, travellers are given up to three days upon arrival to fulfil the test.

South Korea has tightened its testing regime for international arrivals due to recent Covid-19 surge; Jeju International Airport pictured

Travellers must stay in their accommodation until a negative PCR test result is obtained. In the event of a position result, travellers must quarantine for seven days.

To facilitate on-arrival testing, South Korea is expanding the number of test centres at airports across the country. There are now three test centres in Incheon International Airport and one in Gimhae International Airport. Jeju International Airport will get a test centre within this month.

As of July 21, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency has reported 71,170 new Covid-19 infections in the country, including 320 from overseas. New cases have remained above the 70,000 mark for the third straight day on Thursday due to the spread of a highly contagious Omicron subvariant.

According to a notice posted on the Korea Tourism Organization website, the government may limit the 48-hour pre-entry test method strictly to PCR only should the wave persist. Currently, South Korea accepts negative results through either 48-hour PCR or 24-hour RAT/ART test methods that are supervised by health authorities as a pre-entry requirement.

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