"New COVID-19 variants are spreading across the globe. To try to stop these variants entering Korea, as of January 8th, all foreign visitors are required to get a mandatory negative PCR test before their flight. We talked to four visitors who recently came to South Korea about their experience… from arrival at the airport to self-quarantine"
On the first day of new measures being imposed, Yasmin Benhaddi was one of the first group of people who experienced the stricter guidelines.
For her, getting a PCR document was a hurdle.
"The most confusing part was about getting the result issued in Korean or English because when you are coming from non-English speaking country. It's pretty difficult to find the lab that can issue the result. However, once you find one, it's pretty easy to get through the whole process."
And there was also confusion over which exact Covid-19 tests would be accepted.
"Unfortunately, some agents in the past have thought that RT stood for 'rapid test' and a lot of people equated with a rapid antigen test, which is not a PCR test. And so some people were not allowed to board their planes due that confusion there."
But he said submitting a negative PCR test could prevent new variants from entering the country.
"This quarantine system is really effective and good for the people in the country. I wish my country would adopt this type of procedure."
Dozens of documents were checked at the arrival then all the visitors were taken to their quarantine facilities.
A Scottish visitor who's traveled to 7 different countries during the pandemic found K-quarantine much stricter and more organized than others.
He said it felt like being on a different planet.
"Beds are nice and comfortable… the room is nice and warm also. Obviously it’s very cold outside. So far I must admit it’s a lot easier than I anticipated."
Everyday between 4 and 4:30 the room speaker makes an announcement
"Our medical team is visiting your room for a body temperature check. Please wear your face mask and keep the door closed before our medical team visits your room."
to make sure every visitor stays healthy during the quarantine period.
"I think a lot of countries should follow quarantine with this because it’s clearly really effective you can see the amount of people who are still entering the country.. cases are not skyrocketing like other places so really do think it’s really good system."
The government has recently tightened its measures further.
As of Monday, all arrivals must have a Covid-19 test within one day of their arrival, rather than three days as had previously been required.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.