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All international newcomers to South Korea are no longer subject to enforced self-isolation.

SEOUL, South Korea – In the latest step to return to pre-pandemic normalcy with a drop in Covid-19 cases, South Korea abolished the mandated seven-day self-isolation restriction for all international arrivals on Wednesday.

According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), the country added 13,358 Covid-19 infections, including 59 cases from outside the country, increasing the overall caseload to 18,188,200.

Due to fewer tests over the weekend and the Memorial Day vacation on Monday, the daily caseload stayed below 10,000 from Sunday through Tuesday.

Following a peak of more over 621,000 on March 17, Wednesday’s total is still roughly 20% lower than a week ago, indicating that the downward trend has continued.

Six Covid-19 deaths were reported in the country, the lowest number in roughly eight months. The death toll rose to 24,305 people, with a fatality rate of 0.13 percent.

The number of severely ill patients has dropped to 114 from 117 the day before.

As of Wednesday, 44.6 million people, or 86.9% of the population, had received all two doses of vaccines, and 33.32 million people, or 64.9 percent, had received their first booster shots.

The KDCA said that more than 4.19 million persons, or 8.2 percent of the population, had received their second booster doses.

The downward trend in the virus curve has aided South Korea’s efforts to reestablish normalcy.

The government abolished the seven-day required self-isolation requirement for all overseas newcomers on Wednesday, regardless of nationality or vaccination status.

International visitors must, however, perform a PCR virus test within three days after their arrival in South Korea. Before flying to South Korea, they must additionally submit a negative COVID-19 test result (either a PCR test or a supervised fast antigen test).

South Korea boosted the number of weekly international flights to 732 in June, up from 532 in May, as the functioning of Incheon International Airport was fully normalized in response to rising air travel demand.

“Another viral outbreak is expected this summer, according to experts. Seasonal festivities, summer vacation, and greater usage of air conditioners are all hazards that could lead to a rise in illnesses. We must maintain our vigilance “During a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, Second Health Vice Minister Lee Gi-il stated.

The government is pushing for AstraZeneca’s antibody medication Evusheld to be approved for emergency use this month as part of a move to better protect high-risk groups.

Separately, in the aftermath of the virus’s rapid spread around the globe, South Korea relegated monkeypox to the second tier of contagious diseases out of a four-tier system on Wednesday. The infection had previously been restricted to Africa.

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