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Gyms, healthcare facilities enforce vaccine pass system from Monday Updated: 2021-11-16 07:05:24 KST

Vaccine passes are a key part of South Korea??s COVID-19 exit strategy?? dubbed the ??gradual return to normal??.

"Starting this Monday, indoor healthcare facilities and gyms have also been requiring visitors to hand in a negative PCR test result or a vaccine pass."

This comes after a two week grace period for gyms to adjust to the country??s latest COVID-19 strategy.

While authorities have eased restrictions on social gathering caps and operating hours?? they have imposed vaccine pass systems at facilities that have a higher risk of spreading the virus.
Under the vaccine pass system, visitors must prove that they have been fully vaccinated?? or show a negative PCR test result taken within the previous 48 hours.

One regular gym goer said she felt safer knowing that everyone at the gym would now be fully vaccinated or had tested negative against COVID-19.

"Before, there was no way to check which person had been fully vaccinated. So I was extra cautious and tried to stay as far away as possible from everyone while exercising. But now that gyms have vaccine passes, I feel more comfortable and can exercise freely."

A manager at the gym said while he will follow the virus prevention measures the vaccine pass system has affected his business.

"Though unvaccinated people can come to the gym, they have to submit the results of a PCR test taken within 48 hours. That means they have to get tested at least three times a week. It??s inconvenient. So we're seen a big drop in the number of people who come. Many of those who haven??t been vaccinated have postponed their membership."

The grace period at singing rooms and public bathhouses came to an end last week.
With the grace period also coming to an end at indoor health care facilitiesmore than 130-thousand locations now require vaccine passes.
First-time offenders will be fined 100-thousand Korean wonwhich is around 84 US dollars.
Managers or owners who violate the rules will also be fined 1.5 million Korean won, around 1,300 dollars, and will be banned from operating for 10 days.
Those penalties will increase based on the number of violations.
Shin Ye-eun, Arirang News.
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