Mask mandate lifted everywhere except public transportation in South Korea


South Korea will drop its mask mandate for most indoor locations, becoming one of the last Asian countries to require coverings to live with COVID-19.

The mandate expires on Jan. 30, though the country still recommends people wear masks indoors, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said in a statement. Masks will still be required in a number of places, including care homes and hospitals, as well as public transport, it said. Korea’s mask mandate was in effect since November 2020.

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Authorities have determined that the current COVID-19 wave has peaked, based on the country’s death rate and number of critical patients. It is estimated that nearly 98.6% of South Koreans have antibodies to the virus, the agency said, and measures targeting visitors from China mean that the current wave of infections in that country will have a limited impact.


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