Interior Minister Lee Sang-min presides over a government COVID-19 response meeting on Friday. (Yonhap)
The government will add an additional 230 international flights by next month to meet growing demand for travel in the wake of an easing of COVID-19 restrictions, Interior Minister Lee Sang-min said Friday.
The addition will raise the number of weekly international flights from 532 in May to 762 in June.
Starting May 23, the government will also recognize negative rapid antigen test results for travelers boarding flights to South Korea, on top of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results currently being accepted, the minister said.
From June, international arrivals will also be required to undergo a PCR test within three days of their entry into South Korea. The mandatory test is currently required on the day of arrival now.
Oral COVID-19 medications enough to treat 1 million patients will be additionally brought in, while the age limit for taking such medications will be further reduced to include those aged at least 12 and with underlying health problems. Currently, people aged at least 40 and with underlying illnesses are entitled for such oral COVID-19 medications.
The daily average COVID-19 tally in the week ending Thursday reached some 36,000, down 12.7 percent from a week ago, the minister said.
The hospital bed occupancy rate for seriously ill COVID-19 patients remained in the 10-percent range over the past four days, he said.