S.Korea lifts years-long mask mandate for public transportation
Seoul, March 20
Amid a stable Covid situation, South Korea on Monday finally lifted its years-long mask mandate for public transportation.
Wearing a mask is no longer mandatory on public transportation, such as buses, the subway or taxis, as one of the last-remaining Covid-19 restrictions came to an end in the country's efforts to return to pre-pandemic normalcy, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The decision came two years and five months after the government made it mandatory to wear a mask on public transportation in October 2020 at the height of the pandemic.
The mandate however, remains in place for medical facilities, pharmacies and other vulnerable facilities, such as nursing homes.
Pharmacies at open public spaces, such as discount stores or train stations, will be exempt from the mask requirement.
The first day of the mask mandate's lifting on transportation coincided with a fine dust advisory issued across Seoul, causing some to give up or delay enjoying life without a mask.
Government and health authorities have "actively" recommended mask wearing for public transportation users during rush hour, high-risk groups, and those having symptoms.
Also on Monday, South Korea's new Covid-19 cases fell to the lowest daily tally in about nine months.
The country reported 3,930 new infections, including 14 cases from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 30,702,960, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The figure is the lowest since June 27, 2022, when the tally stood at 3,419.
The KDCA reported nine Covid fatalities, raising the death toll to 34,171.