SEOUL, June 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Starting next month, those who have received COVID-19 vaccinations approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) including Chinese vaccines, will be exempted from a two-week quarantine when entering South Korea for humanitarian purposes.
China, however, still imposes a three-week quarantine for incoming vaccine recipients, even those who have received Chinese vaccines, raising controversy over reciprocity and fairness.
The Global Times, a Chinese state-run news media offered in English, reported that South Korea “became the first country to fully exempt travelers vaccinated with shots of Sinopharm and Sinovac from its original mandatory two-week quarantine.”
China, however, reportedly plans to continue imposing a three-week quarantine for all vaccinated travelers entering the country.
The Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines have been criticized in China for their low efficacy, and cases of infections among those already vaccinated have been reported.
South Korea’s medical authorities said that the exemption applies to all seven vaccines approved by the WHO, arguing against claims that the measure favors Chinese vaccines.
Korean residents in China, however, complain that the South Korean government should have won benefits from China in exchange for the exemption, such as a shorter quarantine and easing of visa restrictions.
South Korean entrepreneurs in China are struggling with visa restrictions that ban family members from entering the country in accordance with quarantine rules.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)