South Korea has a 10-day quarantine-on-arrival rule for all inbound international travellers, including South Korean nationals, effective for all arrivals occurring between 12am on Friday (December 3) and 12am on December 17.
Its introduction coincides with the first five reported cases – announced on Wednesday – of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus in that country.
According to an announcement from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) on Wednesday night, the new quarantine rule applies nationally, including Jeju island. The latter is a semi-autonomous region, and has a regulatory system for its foreigner-only casinos that is specific to the island.
Prior to the emergence of Omicron, Jeju had been trying to restart its tourism market to foreigners.
Last month, a group from Singapore had visited as part of a trial opening up, and had attended casino resorts on the island, said respectively in commentary to GGRAsia a spokesperson at Jeju Shinhwa World, a venue with casino run by Hong Kong-listed Landing International Development Ltd, and a person at Jeju Dream Tower, a complex including a casino, run by Lotte Tour Development Co Ltd.
Jeju’s previous visa-on-arrival scheme for eligible foreign nationals entering directly without a stop on the South Korean mainland – which had been available to Chinese citizens – had been under suspension since February 2020. But last month it had been reported that the local government had lobbied the national authorities for permission to relaunch the programme. Word on systemic permission had been pending, according to media reports.
Quarantine nationwide on arrival will now be applied to most entrants regardless of their jabbed status. Exceptions are people arriving either to perform public duties, or to attend the funeral of a family member, said KDCA.
All entrants to the country must be tested for Covid-19 infection four times during quarantine. Short-stay foreign nationals will be quarantined at designated “temporary living facilities”. Longer-stay foreign nationals and South Korean nationals will need to isolate at their place of residence.
Until Friday, fully-jabbed holders of certain travel documents – who had also returned a ‘negative’ test for Covid-19 within 72 hours of their departure for South Korea – had been able to enter the country quarantine free.
Via an electronic travel authorisation system, called K-ETA, effective from September 1, the quarantine-free entry had applied to people from places including Brunei Darussalam, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
As of 12am on Thursday, South Korea had recorded 5,266 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, a new daily record, taking the confirmed tally to 457,612, including 3,705 deaths, according to data from the Ministry of Health and Welfare. As of 12am on Wednesday, 80.1 percent of South Koreans registered as living in that country, had been fully jabbed against Covid-19, according to the ministry.
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