South Korean announces end to nearly all COVID-19 restrictions

Seoul, May 11 (BNA): President Yoon Seok Yul announced the end of nearly all COVID-19 restrictions, including mandatory isolation, effectively placing the disease in the endemic category.

Yoon said during a COVID-19 response meeting that the mandatory seven-day isolation period for COVID-19 patients will be reduced to a recommended five-day period, Yonhap news agency reported.

He also said the indoor mask mandate would be lifted everywhere except in hospitals with recovery rooms, and the recommendation for PCR testing on arrival would be removed.

The new measures will take effect on June 1 when the national COVID-19 crisis level is downgraded from “severe” to “alert”.

The announcement came days after the World Health Organization declared the end of COVID-19 a “global health emergency”.

Yun said the government will continue to provide financial support for COVID-19 testing and treatment at present and prepare comprehensively against future epidemics by establishing a science-based response system.

He also pledged to increase the country’s vaccine development capabilities while strengthening cooperation with the international community and developing a detailed post-COVID-19 policy that sees societal changes driven by pandemics being used.

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