S. Korea to consider lifting visa restrictions on travelers from China if virus situation improves: PM

SEOUL– Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said Tuesday the government will consider lifting visa restrictions on travelers from China before late February if the positive cases from the neighboring nation stay at a manageable level.

Han made the remarks at a press conference held at the government complex in Seoul, saying South Korea will decided whether to lift the restrictions after assessing the coronavirus test results of arrivals from China.

South Korea has tightened curbs on travelers from China, halting the issuance of short-term visas from diplomatic missions in China and requiring those entering the country to undergo a coronavirus test before and after arriving here until the end of next month.

In retaliation, China also suspended short-term visa issuance for South Koreans.

“I think we still have to be careful about fully lifting the visa restrictions, considering the PCR test results of Chinese nationals entering South Korea these days,” Han told the reporters. A PCR test refers to a polymerase chain reaction test for COVID-19.

“After we look into PCR test results of Chinese people and determine that it is at a manageable level, we will consider lifting them even before” the end of next month, he said.

Meanwhile, Han said he had a breakfast meeting with Gita Gopinath, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), earlier Tuesday, and that the IMF official praised South Korea for its efforts to ensure fiscal soundness.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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