South Korea to drop pre-departure Covid-19 tests
Pre-arrival testing for Covid-19 will no longer be required for travellers from mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau.
South Korea.- South Korean authorities have confirmed that from March 11, travellers from China, Hong Kong or Macau won’t need to undergo pre-travel Covid-19 testing. According to Korea JoonAng Daily, Lim Sook-young, director of the infectious disease crisis response bureau at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the Covid-19 situation in China is stable with no new variants of concern.
Last month, South Korea announced the end of post-arrival Covid-19 tests for travellers from China. The country has also resumed the issuance of short-term visas for Chinese travellers, while China has done the same for South Koreans.
The resumption of short-term visas is expected to have a positive impact on South Korea’s foreigner-only casinos. Prior to the pandemic, Chinese tourists were a major source of revenue for casinos. Of the country’s 17 casinos, only Kangwon Land is allowed to offer gambling to locals.
The move to end testing is seen as a step toward rekindling tourism. However, the authorities have warned that they will continue to closely monitor the Covid-19 situation and adjust measures as necessary.
In 2021, South Korean casino revenue was KRW1.18tn (US$975.39m), compared to KRW1.04tn in 2020.