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S. Korea's vaccine passport: Who needs it and where is it required? Updated: 2021-11-03 17:14:18 KST

South Korea started lifting some of its COVID-19 restrictions as part of the shift to the so-called "Living with Corona" plan.
But as part of this shift, the country will be using vaccine passes as proof of being fully vaccinated.
These will allow people to enter certain types of facilities.
The government is calling it a "virus prevention passport" to be more inclusive as they don't just show proof of vaccination.
For more we have our Kim Do-yeon in the studio with us.
Hello, Do-yeon.

Good evening.

Now, the concept of a "vaccine passport" is already being used in other countries so first of all, let's talk about how people in South Korea can get theirs.

For most people who have been using QR codes to enter restaurants and cafes and places like that it won't be too different as long as they update their vaccination status on the app they use.

C-O-O-V is the system that generates the QR codes and many use applications such as Kakao or Naver to access theirs.
For those that prefer to use a paper version they can visit local health centers and get a certificate of vaccination.
In addition, the center will give stickers to put on your ID card to make it more convenient when needing to show proof.

So what kind of facilities will be asking to see these vaccine passes?

They will be required at places that health authorities saw frequent outbreaks at throughout the pandemic.
But the requirements are different depending on the type of facility.
Let's take a look at this chart.

At nightlife venues such as clubs and bars where music is played or people will be mingling with others, customers need to show that they are fully vaccinated with no exemptions applied.
Full vaccination status starts two weeks after the second jab so this must be taken into account.
For theses nightlife facilities, the one-week transition period is in effect for this week so no actual penalties will be given but the facilities still have to follow the rules.

The vaccine pass will be used for indoor gyms and other high-risk facilities such as singing rooms and public baths, but people who are not fully vaccinated can enter if they produce a negative PCR test that was taken within 48 hours beforehand.
Or they can show proof that they aren't eligible for a vaccine or are unable to have one due to medical reasons.
The transitional period for these facilities is two weeks.

You just briefly mentioned those who aren't eligible for a vaccine.
I guess if you're not eligible for a vaccine and are forced to take a PCR test 48 hours before you want to go anywhere that's a bit unfair so they're exempt from PCR tests.

That's right, but those who fall in this group will still have to show proof of being exempt
Certificates stating that someone is exempt from providing proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test will be given out at local health centers.

As of now, the local health centers should have in their database who will not be receiving the second dose due to severe adverse reactions from the first.
OR, who is not eligible for vaccination due to medical status.
In addition, those under 18 are yet to be fully vaccinated, so they will be exempt from vaccination proof at the moment.

Now this must convince those who have not been fully vaccinated to go and get their shots.
For the ones that had some negative side effects from the first dose and didn't show up for their second.
Can they still get it even after the recommended period?

That's right. this is called a delayed shot, and it's completely fine even after the six week cap for Pfizer and Moderna.
In fact, some studies even said that more antibodies were formed after 12 weeks.
As for recognition, the health centers will recognize this late second shot, so if someone changes their mind it's okay to get it late.

For foreigners, does it work the same? And what if you were vaccinated in another country?

Right first, for foreign residents in South Korea, if you have a visa, and a phone service account using your alien registration number, this will the same as South Koreans.

If you were vaccinated overseas, and are entering the country and were granted quarantine exemption under previous guidelines you are able to be registered in the system and receive a QR code through C-O-O-V.
However, if you are vaccinated but didn't receive quarantine exemption unfortunately there is currently no system in place for you to get your vaccine recognized by the government.
I was told earlier today in fact that they are currently working on it to make sure no one is left out.
But, it's important to remember that you need to show that you've been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the WHO.

How long will all this last?

It's too early to tell when it'll end, and things will have to play out and see when the case numbers settle.
Health authorities are expecting cases to jump with the easing of restrictions, but as long as daily cases remain below 5-thousand, the country will stay at this level of virus prevention measures.

At the moment, the country is in Phase 1 of the vaccine pass.
When things do start settling down Phase 2 will begin, and vaccine passes will be phased out for certain, low-risk facilities.
However, the government has said that during Phase 2, vaccine passes will be required at events that could host more than 100 people such as at rallies and demonstrations.

All right, our Kim Do-yeon on the virus prevention pass system in South Korea.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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