Latest news and updates on the impact of a new strain of coronavirus on South Korea. The virus, which causes the disease Covid-19 and was first reported in Wuhan in China, has killed hundreds of people and infected thousands in South Korea. Many of the initial cases were linked to a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the southeastern city of Daegu.
Annual projected losses could hit US$11.8 billion for Singapore and US$13.8 billion for Hong Kong if Covid-19 infections were to worsen, the report said.
Myeong-dong in South Korea’s capital, Seoul, is flourishing again with the return of foreign travellers, with many citing their love of K-dramas and K-pop as reasons to visit the area.
However, travellers from China will still need to take pre-departure PCR tests until at least March 10, a South Korean official said.
Health authorities have extend the coronavirus measures on short-term travellers from China through the end of February.
Singapore lifted its own indoor mask mandate in August. Japan, which never imposed a mandate, is debating no longer asking people to wear masks indoors. But in Hong Kong you can still be fined for not wearing a mask outside.
A social media account run by a nationalistic Chinese tabloid says Seoul’s entry restrictions, PCR tests unfairly target Chinese travellers.
Flights from Hong Kong can only land at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport.
Chinese embassy in South Korea says visas for business, tourism, medical treatment, transit and general private affairs are suspended for South Koreans.
South Korea police said the man would be taken to a quarantine facility and could later be charged under a disease control law, and be subject to a year in prison.
The 41-year-old passenger, who tested positive for Covid on arrival, fled from a quarantine hotel on Yeongjong Island off the west coast of Incheon, South Korean police said.
South Korea also announced that it will limit flights and suspend applications for tourist visas from China
Street vendors on the famous tourist shopping district of South Korea’s Myeongdong will close on Christmas Eve, and partially close on New Year’s Eve, to prevent a repeat of the Itaewon Halloween crush that killed some 159 people.
The country aims to attract 30 million visitors yearly with visas for digital nomads, K-culture training and ‘workcations’, as it seeks to rejuvenate tourism.
Eyeing a place among the world’s top defence-exporting nations, South Korea has been stepping up deals to supply advanced weapons such as jets and missile systems to the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere.
Yoon Suk-yeol has had to defend a proposal to assume greater control over law enforcement after it prompted police protests his interior minister compared to a ‘military coup’.
Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, China, Australia and New Zealand are being urged to take precautions as authorities grapple with economic fallout from pandemic while trying to avoid unpopular restrictions.
China used to be seen as a land of opportunity for South Koreans, but as businesses close and livelihoods come under threat, their struggle reflects a rising dilemma facing foreigners.
In an apparent move to shift blame for a wave of infections, state media cited a soldier and a child, 5, who touched unidentified materials before falling ill.
SK Bioscience is seeking an approval from the World Health Organization for its shots, which would potentially open export opportunities.
The government also announced that international flight schedules at Incheon airport will return to normal, providing an unlimited number of flights to overseas travellers.
Finance ministers and central bank governors from Japan, China and South Korea on Thursday warned of the risks from the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine to Asia’s economic recovery.
Readers discuss Hong Kong’s young vaccine holdouts, ways technology can improve education, Chinese scepticism about Western vaccines and why international travellers are reluctant to visit Hong Kong.
Some experts believe one of the reasons why some South Koreans are choosing to keep their masks on is to get some relief in a society obsessed with looks. It also shows respect for other people’s well-being.
The decision on masks in South Korea came just days ahead of newly elected President Yoon Suk-yeol’s inauguration on May 10 – and despite his team’s opposition.
A new Korea International Trade Association report says China’s role as a go-to source of production among global companies has diminished over the last five years, but it still remains an important and lucrative market for some.
Before Covid-19, masks were mostly worn in South Korea by celebrities – think Jennie from Blackpink – to hide their identity or during days of high pollution. Now many Koreans can’t imagine life without them.