Feb 22, 2023 04:13 PM

South Korea Will End Testing for Travelers From China

What’s new: South Korea will lift Covid testing requirements for travelers from China next month, the latest easing of restrictive measures against its neighbor as China’s omicron wave recedes, according to state media.

Starting March 1, South Korea will no longer require inbound travelers from China to get tested for Covid upon arrival, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing South Korean health authorities. However, the requirement for travelers from China to submit negative nucleic acid test results prior to departure will last until March 10.

The decision to loosen curbs comes as “the positive rate among arrivals from China has dropped from 18.4% in the first week of January to 0.6% in the third week of February,” Kim Sung-ho, a vice ministerial official at the Ministry of Interior and Safety, said at a meeting, Reuters reported.

The background: On Feb. 11, Seoul resumed issuing short-term visas for travelers from China, followed by Beijing’s removal of similar restrictions that came in retaliation after nearly two dozen countries imposed curbs on travelers from China following its abrupt pivot from “zero Covid.”

In addition to South Korea, other countries such as France and Italy have eased restrictions recently as the number of new infections in China has dropped. The European Union plans to gradually ease Covid testing requirements for travelers from China starting this month, Bloomberg reported.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Wang Xintong ( and editor Michael Bellart (

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Caixin-Sinica Business Brief: China Resumes Issuing Visas to Foreigners