The quarantine authorities said that they would consider further lifting or easing quarantine policies, including the requirement for all overseas entrants to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within one day after entering Korea.
"As the current epidemic is slowing down, we are preparing additional adjustments for various quarantine policies while comprehensively considering overseas trends and expert opinions," said Im Sook-young, a senior official at the Central Disease Control Headquarters (CDCH).
Im stressed that the government is considering completely removing the PCR test requirement for overseas entrants.
According to the CDCH, only 10 countries including Korea among the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are implementing quarantine measures for overseas entrants.
"The U.S. and Canada restrict entry for unvaccinated persons, while unvaccinated travelers visiting Japan, Spain, Chile, Luxembourg, Lithuania, and Colombia, have to receive a test before entry," the CDCH said. "New Zealand conducts rapid antigen testing for all inbound travelers after entry."
Korea has been slowly lifting quarantine measures for overseas entrants, with health officials most recently removing the pre-travel Covid-19 test requirement from Sept. 3.
Still, to block the influx of Covid-19 variants, the government had maintained post-arrival PCR testing within a day after entry.
However, health experts have pointed out that the mandatory post-arrival PCR testing is ineffective because many people are not taking the test and it is difficult for the government to keep track of every inbound traveler.
The government is also considering removing outdoor mask wearing completely.
Although the government lifted the obligation to wear face masks outdoors in May, it maintained the obligation to wear a mask outdoors when participating in gatherings with more than 50 people.
"The removal of the outdoor face mask policy has a relatively low risk of infection, and we believe that we can consider this first," Park Hye-kyung, a CDCH senior official, said.
Health officials could also allow face-to-face visits at nursing hospitals.
The government had allowed in-person visits to nursing facilities in March last year but re-imposed the ban on such visits in July as daily infections and deaths spiked again.
The country added 47,917 new Covid-19 infections, including 323 cases from abroad, bringing the total caseload to 24,461,737, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The nation also reported 24 more Covid-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 27,891. The fatality rate stood at 0.11 percent. The number of critically ill patients came to 497, down 11 from the previous day, the KDCA said.
Despite the downturn in the new cases, health officials expressed concern against reinfection of recovered patients.
According to the KDCA's data, 10.18 percent of the total COVID-19 caseload were reinfected cases.