SEOUL, Jan. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea will require foreigners to test negative for the novel coronavirus before arrival, starting at airports next week, as the nation steps up its fight against the pandemic amid a winter wave of the virus, officials said Friday.
Foreign arrivals must have a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coronavirus test taken within 72 hours before their departure to South Korea, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The rule for foreigners arriving at South Korean airports will go into effect next Friday, while it will be implemented at South Korean ports for passenger ships on Jan. 15.
South Korea’s daily virus infections has been hovering around 1,000, due mainly to mass cluster infections from churches, private gatherings and a correctional facility.
Adding woes to the nation’s battle against the pandemic, the country has reported five cases of a new coronavirus variant first reported in Britain.
South Korea has halted all flights from Britain until next Thursday to prevent the virus variant from spreading here, while making all incoming passengers from Britain and South Africa submit documents that prove they tested negative for COVID-19.