SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — The spread of the new omicron COVID-19 variant has brought back the mandatory 10-day quarantine for all travelers from overseas, surprising students studying abroad and businesspeople.
“My younger sister is about to graduate, and it’ll become harder for her to visit South Korea after she gets a job overseas. She was planning on to come during her final winter break, but had to cancel the flight because of the quarantine,” said a 22-year-old student surnamed Lim living with his sister in the U.S.
“She’s waited almost a year to get back. Now, many people like her are frustrated over not being able to visit their loved ones,” he added.
Even if they go through the 10-day quarantine, a separate quarantine procedure prior to returning to the foreign country also poses a problem.
“I was planning to visit Korea while Japan does not ban entry for re-entering travelers. The new quarantine procedure in Korea, however, has forced me to cancel all my travel plans,” said Kim So-yeon, a 28-year-old office worker living in Tokyo.
“I’m very disappointed that I can’t get to see my parents.”
A student enrolled in a university in South Korea had to take leave of absence from school after visiting her family overseas and not being able to return due to the quarantine policy.
“I thought the vaccine would bring us back to living a normal life, but I was wrong. I had to take time off from school,” said Kim Kyu-ri, a 21-year-old student attending Ewha Womans University.
She was visiting her parents in Australia when the new quarantine policy kicked in.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)