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5-day rotation mask distribution system unfavorable to foreigners
Updated: 2020-03-15 14:20:09 KST

Just like Korean nationals, foreign residents can purchase two face masks per week at pharmacies on designated days based on the last digit of their birth year.
On Thursday, those born in years that end with 4 or 9 were able to buy masks.
And those who are unable to get masks during the week can do so on weekends.
Foreigners can only buy masks from pharmacies if they have national health insurance.
But sometimes some pharmacies have difficulties checking that foreigners have this insurance.

"I showed my alien registration card but the pharmacy near my house couldn't track my health insurance on their system. The pharmacist was nice enough to give me two masks, but I'm already worried about next week."

"And many groups of foreigners don't have national health insurance. This includes students who usually have group insurance provided through their school. Because of this, over 100-thousand students are unable to use this system to get hold of face masks."

"One time, a foreigner came with just his driver's license so I had to turn him away. Foreigners need to have both their registration card and national health insurance."

According to the finance ministry, the requirement for both health insurance and an ARC is to prevent people staying in Korea for a short period of time from buying masks through the system.
These requirements apply to masks sold at pharmacies, post offices, and Nonghyup Hanaro Mart, but foreigners without health insurance can still buy masks at other places such as convenience stores or online.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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