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South Korea Ends COVID-19 Visa Restrictions For China Travellers



South Korea said Friday it would resume issuing short-term visas to travellers from China, ending a Covid-linked restriction that sparked a furious response and t*t-for-tat measures from Beijing.


In January, Seoul imposed travel requirements, including visa restrictions and PCR testing, on all visitors from China, as the world’s most-populous country battled a surge in

coronavirus cases.



But South Korea said the rate of passengers from China testing positive on arrival had dropped to 1.4 percent last week, down from 20 percent when the curbs were first introduced.

As a result, Seoul will “remove short-term visa restrictions on China and resume issuing them starting from February 11”, the country’s disease control centre said in a statement.


The drop reflects the current situation in China, it said, where there have been “no signs of new coronavirus spread or mutations after the lunar new year holidays”.

Day

s after Seoul stopped granting the visas in January, Beijing pushed back by calling the measures “discriminatory” and suspending the issuance of short-term visas for South Koreans.

On Friday, Beijing welcomed the development, and said it would “actively consider reciprocally resuming the issuance of short term visas for South Koreans visiting China,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

South Korea said other restrictions, including testing requirements, would remain in place




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