Masks No Longer Mandatory on Public Transportation Starting March 20

Park Yong-phil 2023. 3. 15. 14:20
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From March 20, people can take off their masks when using public transportation. Masks will no longer be mandatory anywhere except for some facilities vulnerable to transmission, such as hospitals.

Han Chang-seob, second assistant director of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters and acting minister of the interior and safety, announced, “The government will lift compulsory mask regulations on public transportation, such as buses and subways, and in open-counter pharmacies in large facilities, such as major retailers and stations, beginning March 20 (Mon.),” in a Headquarters meeting on March 15.

However, the government decided to keep masks mandatory in common pharmacies after considering the probability of people with potential Covid symptoms and people in high-risk groups using the facilities.

Vice Minister Han said, “We strongly recommend people using public transportation during busy hours, people in high-risk groups and those with symptoms to wear masks.”

The government lifted the mask regulation in most indoor spaces, such as restaurants, supermarkets, theaters and banks at the end of January. Since then, the average number of new daily cases of COVID-19 has dropped 38%, and patients with serious symptoms 55%. In addition, no new variants have been detected, so the government judged the disease control situation to be stable and further lifted the mask regulation on Wednesday.

When the latest decision is implemented on March 20, people will be able to go mask-free in all indoor and outdoor areas, except for hospitals and pharmacy stores, for the first time in two years and five months since the government imposed compulsory mask regulations.

The government also decided to gradually resume the operation of passenger ships between South Korea and China, which was suspended in January 2020, starting March 20.

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