BREAKING NEWS: Mandatory Covid-19 Test for Foreigners Cancelled

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An army of covid-19 track and trace team advance towards an isolation center in Seoul (Credit” Google Image)

Editorial Team, Editorial Team

An army of covid-19 track and trace team advance towards an isolation center in Seoul, Korea (Credit” Google Image)

Last Friday 19th March, the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters issued a request to all local administrations proposing mandatory COVID-19 testing of foreign workers.

In response, Seoul Metropolitan Government immediately rescinded the requirement.  The measures will now take the form of a recommendation that all workers, Korean and foreign, who are working in high risk environments, characterized by staff operating in close proximity, in restricted spaces and with poor ventilation, get tested.

Overall, the situation is much more positive than it appeared last week after many foreigner works in and around Seoul expressed anxiety and concern that mandatory testing for foreign works may further increase segregation and discrimination.

According to a foreign worker whose identity is withheld, “I’m made to feel uncomfortable in public transport as most Koreans stay away, as much as possible, from me. It was not like this before covid-19 was declared a pandemic.”

Research findings have suggested that since the outbreak of covid-19 a year ago, foreigners have felt more isolated and distanced by locals who are unsure if the foreigner is a new comer or a long-term resident in Korea.

Comparatively, Korea continues to do better than most European and North American nations in containing the pandemic. Although daily infection rates are higher today than this time last year, most observers believe vaccination will provide succor sooner than later.