A new quarantine measure that took effect on Jan. 2 requires all passengers from China entering Korea to take a PCR test for COVID-19.
The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters on the same day said all travelers whether Korean or not entering the country from China via flight or ship must take the test from Jan. 2 to Feb. 28.
Foreign visitors from China except Hong Kong or Macao coming for short stays must undergo the test right after arrival at an airport or other arrival venue and wait for the result at a designated area.
Korean nationals and expats coming from China must get the test at a public health center within a day of their return to Korea and stay at home until the result is confirmed.
Someone who tests positive at an airport will have their sample collected by the quarantine center and must stay in an isolation facility.
Among foreign visitors on short stays, those testing positive for the coronavirus will be isolated at quarantine facilities for seven days.
All arriving flights headed for Korea from China will be redirected to Incheon.
From Jan. 5, all travelers must submit the result of a PCR test before departure. They must also present a negative PCR result taken 48 hours before departure or that of a rapid antigen test taken by an authorized medical professional or facility 24 hours before a flight.
Prior to boarding, passengers on Korea-bound flights in China were asked if they had signed up with Korea's Quarantine COVID-19 Defense System, or Q-Code, and airliners restricted those who had not from boarding.
Also on Jan. 2, the government also decided to restrict through Jan. 31 the issuance of short-term visas at its diplomatic missions in China and limit until Feb. 28 the number of additional flights from China.
By Xu Aiying