South Korean authorities announced, on April 6, that the country will significantly increase the number of international flights per week beginning May 2022, as COVID-19 infections continue to drop. A total of 100 weekly government-authorised flights to destinations like the USA, Europe, Singapore and Thailand will be active again, where quarantine exemptions and visa-free entries are allowed. By Eesha Kulkarni
With restrictions and curbs induced by the pandemic being scrapped by countries all over the world, South Korean Minister of the Interior and Safety Jeon Hae-cheol announced this positive development, which will be beneficial for the country’s economy as well.
New international flights commencing May 2022 in South Korea
As the country continues to ease anti-coronavirus rules and travel restrictions owing to the declining Omicron infections, 100 more weekly international flights will be added to the roster in June, as reported by the transport ministry. Following this, another 300 flights will be active from July, allowing people to carry out their long-overdue summer travel plans this year.
Currently, only 420 international flights are serving South Korea per week, a steep decline from the pre-pandemic number of 4,714 weekly flights.
“Demand for overseas visits is expected to increase, as countries that have passed the peak of the Omicron wave have eased quarantine policies,” Jeon said in a statement.
Updated COVID-19 related rules in the country
With the COVID-19 cases dwindling over the past three weeks and hardly any reports of new infections, South Korea is all set to remove most of the virus-related travel restrictions and domestic measures later this month.
While people will no longer be obligated to wear masks outdoors, fully vaccinated overseas travellers will not be subjected to mandatory quarantine on arrival. The country has also scrapped national vaccine mandates.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency recorded 286,294 new cases for 5 April, which is far from the record number of 621,328 cases seen in mid-March.
With positive developments being announced pertaining to air travel, the stock market in the country also reacted accordingly. Share prices in Korean Air increased by 1.7 percent after the announcement, in contrast to a 0.9 percent decline in the wider market.
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