The predeparture test for COVID-19 for all arriving passengers in Korea will be lifted on Sept. 3.
In a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters at Government Complex-Seoul on Aug. 31, Second Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Lee Ki-il, who is concurrently first general coordinator of the headquarters, said, "From Sept. 3, all Korean and non-Korean nationals arriving in the country from overseas via a plane or ship are not required to submit a negative result from a PCR test."
But they must still take a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival.
Vice Minister Lee added, "Please consider that this is a minimum step to block variants prevalent abroad from spreading (in the country)."
All inbound travelers regardless of nationality have had to submit a negative result from a PCR test within 48 hours before arrival or from a professionally administered rapid antigen test within 24 hours. After arrival, they needed to take another PCR test within 24 hours of arrival.
The travel and tourism sectors have complained of the financial burden of taking a PCR test overseas before arrival in Korea and the low effectiveness of such testing before and after arrival due to the short time interval.