South Korea to end mandatory wearing of mask for public transport

By Stermy 3 Min Read

The South Korean Government will by next week be dropping its mandatory requirement for the wearing of face masks by passengers in public transport.

The Government made this known on Wednesday, March 14th, 2023, following the drop in Covid-19 cases, South Korea’s daily virus tally continues its downward trend, reaching 11,401 cases Tuesday.

According to a south Korean News agency, Yonhap news agency, Vice Interior Minister Han Chang-seob said during a government COVID-19 response meeting that the lifting will go into effect Monday (March 20th).

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Currently, wearing a mask is mandatory on public transportation, including buses, subways and taxis, as well as at hospitals, pharmacies and other high-risk facilities, such as nursing homes, after the government lifted the indoor mask mandate on Jan. 30 except for those places.

“Since the adjustment of mask-wearing requirements on Jan. 30, the virus situation has been in stable condition, registering a 38 percent fall in the average daily virus infections and a 55 percent fall in new seriously ill patients,” Han noted.

But mask wearing is “actively recommended for public transportation users during rush hour, high-risk groups, and those having symptoms,” he said.

Exceptions were made for hospitals, pharmacies and other high-risk facilities such as senior care centers, where masks must continue to be worn.

South Korea will join the many countries that have also eliminated the mandatory use of masks on public transport due to stable infection numbers, which currently total around 10,000 cases per day in the Asian country.

South Korea, which has a population of 51.7 million, has accumulated 30.6 million infections since the start of the pandemic and just over 34,000 deaths linked to the virus, which implies a fatality rate of 0.11 percent. EFE

With all mask requirements nearly coming to an end, the seven-day self-quarantine mandate for COVID-19 patients remains the country’s last major COVID-19 restriction as the nation heads back to pre-pandemic normalcy.

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