The Korean government will gradually phase out the COVID-19 restrictions in three stages starting November 1, 2021. Restriction will be eased in the order of multi-use facilities (entertainment facilities, gym..) → large scale events → private gatherings.
Each stage will last for six weeks. The first stage will begin as of 1st November and operate for four weeks. For the next two weeks, the government will evaluate the situation and then decide to implement the next stage.
The criteria to the next stage includes ①vaccination rate, ②occupancy rate for the intensive care units and hospital beds, ③the number of severe patients and deaths during the week and so on.
Restrictions applied differently for each region will be removed and the same restrictions will be applied nationwide. However, local government can take strengthened measures in consideration of the local epidemic and response capabilities.
Multi-use facilities There will be no restriction on business hours. However, entertainments facilities such as night clubs and bars will be operated until midnight. People should prove their vaccination status to use the facilities(COVID-19 PASS system). The limitation for these facilities will be lifted six weeks later when the second stage begins.
COVID-19 PASS system which requires a vaccination certificate or a PCR negative test result for entry will be used in some multi-use facilities such as singing room, spa, indoor sports facilities and entertainment facilities in the first stage. From the second stage, the system will be used in large scale events or rallies with more than 100 people.
- People can prove their vaccination status with COOV application or paper certification issued by public health care centers.
- People can submit a PCR negative test result. The result is valid on the day of 48 hours from the time of issuance.
- Children and adolescents under the age of 18 are excluded.
- People who showed serious reactions after the first inoculation or are taking anti-cancer drugs, can submit the confirmation for vaccination exception issued by public health care centers.
- People who cured from the COVID-19 can submit the confirmation issued by public health care centers.
Events will be allowed up to 99 people regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not during the first stage. Events with up to 499 people will be allowed only when attendees are fully vaccinated. If all attendees are fully vaccinated, they can eat and drink altogether. The restriction on number of people will be removed from the second stage.
* Fully vaccinated people include those who ①have been vaccinated 14 days after the last shot, ②are under the age of 18, ③are completely cured after the transmission, and ④are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.
Private gatherings are allowed up to 10 people in the metropolitan area and 12 people in the non-metropolitan area regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. However, in restaurants and cafes, only up to 4 unvaccinated people can gather. The limitation on the number of people will be lifted from the third stage.
‘Wearing masks indoor’ and ‘Logging all visitors’ will remain mandatory. Putting hand sanitizers, disinfecting and ventilating periodically, and maintaining 1m distance with others will be maintained.
Mandatory quarantine When people are found to be a close contact, they will be under self-isolation for 10 days. The quarantine exemption for people arriving from overseas and fully vaccinated is scheduled for the first half of 2022.
The government will implement strong restrictions temporarily if the number of severe patients and deaths are soared or the occupancy rate of intensive care units and hospital beds are increased by more than 80%.
1. Ministry of Health and Welfare : http://www.mohw.go.kr/react/al/sal0301vw.jsp?PAR_MENU_ID=04&MENU_ID=0403&page=1&CONT_SEQ=368300
2. Seoul Metromolitan Government : http://english.seoul.go.kr/covid-19-steady-return-to-pre-pandemic-life-starting-nov-1/
3. Yeonhap News : https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20211029002552315?input=2106m