The government said Tuesday that they would provide vaccination certificates for Koreans who have received the Covid-19 vaccine abroad and enter the nation without a quarantine waiver.

"Korean nationals who have received vaccination overseas and enter Korea without a quarantine waiver can also prove their vaccinations in the same way as those who completed vaccination locally from Wednesday," said Park Hyang, head of the quarantine division at the Central Disaster Management Headquarters.

Even if a person completed vaccination abroad, they could not register themselves in the local vaccination system without a quarantine waiver as the government has been issuing vaccination certificates to only those who enter Korea with a quarantine waiver.

Under the eased system, overseas vaccine recipients can receive the same incentives, free from private meeting restrictions or self-quarantine.

However, people without quarantine waivers will still have to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry before enjoying the incentives. After the two-week self-quarantine period, the citizen must also visit a public health center and submit proof of overseas vaccination. The center will then put their vaccination record into the local vaccination system by comparing and checking certificate sample files from foreign countries and submitted documents.

However, officials warned those who forge records or submit false overseas vaccination certificates would be subject to criminal punishment and a fine of 100,000 won ($84).

The quarantine authorities also said they plan to provide booster shots for people who received jabs overseas.

"As people can receive a certificate of vaccination if they report their overseas vaccination to a public health center, we plan to use this in the scheduling booster vaccinations for them," said Hong Jung-ik, an official at the Covid-19 Vaccination Response Promotion Team.

Korea has vaccinated 40,474,512 people – 11,100,669 with the AstraZeneca vaccine, 21,366,445 with Pfizer's vaccine, 1,469,445 with Janssen's vaccine, 6,466,318 with Moderna's vaccine – with the first shot of the vaccine up 71,635 from the previous day. The figure accounts for 91.6 percent of the population over the age of 18.

On Tuesday, the country added 1,073 Covid-19 cases, including 1,048 local infections, raising the total caseload to 344,518, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). Twenty-one more people died from the virus, raising the death toll to 2,689 with a fatality rate of 0.78 percent.

The daily cases have since stayed in the quadruple digits, including the record high of 3,273 on Sept. 25.

The steady decline in new virus cases came as the government eased restrictions for private gatherings and allowed longer business hours for cafes, diners, and other multi-use facilities from Monday.

The measures come ahead of the planned policy shift to return to normal life while treating Covid-19 like a seasonal infectious disease, such as influenza, from November.

Under the eased restrictions, the government will allow private gatherings to eight people, including four vaccinated, in the greater Seoul area after 6 p.m., a maximum of 10 people, including six fully vaccinated people, for other regions.


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