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Vaccine passes no longer required for low-risk venues starting Tuesday Updated: 2022-01-18 09:52:47 KST

South Korea's vaccine pass program has been withdrawn for some venues that have a relatively lower risk of COVID-19 transmissions.
The revision is being implemented starting Tuesday.

"People no longer have to show proof of vaccination when going to supermarkets, shopping malls, movie theaters, or cram schools. This is mainly because people wear masks at all times at these venues, meaning there's a lower chance of droplet transmission."

A total of six types of facilities will no longer require vaccine passes.
This also means those who aren't vaccinated no longer have to get tested for COVID-19 to enter these facilities.

"Although I am vaccinated, I believe that the rights of unvaccinated people should be respected, so I am for this decision."

The revisions come in a bid to settle growing confusion on the latest court decision, which was to suspend vaccine passes at department stores and supermarkets only in the capital, Seoul.
The revised measures also come as the nation's virus situation has improved compared to last December.

"There's a lower risk of infection and more medical capacity compared to December when vaccine passes were expanded. Considering the quarantine principles, it is necessary to relax restrictions for low-risk facilities."

A health expert says that vaccine passes are not necessary for places that require masks at all times, but people should remain cautious.

"But vaccine passes will still be needed in places where people take off their masks or places that are not well ventilated. People should avoid gatherings as much as possible due to breakthrough infections."

However, the government says it will maintain its vaccine pass mandate for teenagers which is scheduled to start in March.
This comes even though the court also overturned all vaccine pass requirements in Seoul for people aged 12 to 18 last week.

"The number of infections among teenagers is decreasing but they still make up more than 25-percent of total infections. Considering that Omicron will become the dominant strain soon, we have decided to push forward with the vaccine pass mandates for teenagers as well. We are expecting the court to change its decision, as the passes will not be required in places of learning."

Some health experts have agreed this would be reasonable, as long as students don't need a vaccine pass to enter educational facilities.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.
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