South Korea to Lower COVID-19 Alert Status from June
The South Korean government has announced that it will lower the COVID-19 alert status from critical to “warning” as of June. The decision was made after the World Health Organization declared that the “public health emergency” was over.
The Korea Agency for Disease Control and Prevention (KDCA) will remove the 7-day quarantine for those who enter the country with COVID-19 and the obligation to test 3 days before entering the country. It will also not be necessary to wear a mask in small hospitals and health centers.
However, health officials continue to advise people who test positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate for 5 days. President Yoon Suk Yeol expressed his happiness that the people are back to normal life after nearly 3.5 years. He also noted that the government will take steps to improve its capacity to combat epidemics that may be seen in the coming years.
Despite criticism that the measures against the virus were loosened too early, KDCA official Youngmee Jee pointed out that the epidemic has slowed down thanks to the high rate of vaccinations. She also noted that deaths from COVID-19 are on a steady decline and are approaching deaths from flu.