South Korea is promoting “travel bubble” talks with Singapore and Taiwan to allow fully vaccinated people to travel without quarantine from early July 2021.
According to the The Straits Times, on June 9, the Korean Ministry of Transport said that it is promoting the permission to allow people who have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to go on group tours to countries with strong disease control measures and has been relatively successful in containing the pandemic.
Only 4.5% of the population, or 2.32 million South Koreans, have been fully vaccinated since the vaccination program was launched on February 26 in the country.
Negotiations with South Korea’s Singapore and Taiwan are underway to sign a travel bubble deal, and will also reach out to other territories such as Guam, Saipan and Thailand to discuss the reopening of international flights.
South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said the border restrictions have dealt a blow to the aviation and tourism industries for too long, and many people are yearning to go abroad again.
“Continuing international travel will mark the beginning of life returning to normal,” Kim Boo-kyum said at a meeting on June 9.
According to the Department of Transport, they are planning to only allow package tours to be selected in the early stages of the program, and those who sign up must follow the itinerary rather than travel freely. Travelers must also be tested for Covid-19 and submit a negative test result three days prior to departure and retest upon arrival.
Singapore had planned to launch its first bilateral air travel bubble with Hong Kong in November 2020, but it was postponed twice due to a spike in the number of people infected with Covid-19.
Guam and Saipan (two US territories) allow vaccinated travelers (US approved) such as Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen to be exempt from the two-week mandatory quarantine. And Jeju Air, South Korea’s largest low-cost carrier, has resumed flights to Saipan in anticipation of a spike in travel demand.
As of June 9, about 9.2 million South Koreans have completed the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. South Korea is trying to speed up its vaccination program by offering incentives such as allowing people who have had at least one dose of the vaccine to roam outdoors without a mask from July onwards. . Fully vaccinated people will be exempt from the current ban on gatherings of more than four people from July 2021.