S.Korea to no longer require face masks outdoors

The South Korean government has decided to lift a COVID-19-related requirement to wear face masks outdoors. The rule will change from Monday.

South Korean health authorities on Friday announced the lifting of the mandate for outdoor gatherings of 50 or more people, such as sporting events and concerts.

The authorities said the BA.5 Omicron subvariant wave has passed its peak. They also said that many other countries have no outdoor mask mandates.

Some people in Seoul expressed concern about a possible resurgence of infections and said they will continue to wear a mask outdoors.

In May, South Korea partially lifted the outdoor mask mandate, but kept it in place for gatherings of 50 or more people.

South Korea will maintain a requirement to wear masks in such places as public transportation and stores.

The government is considering lifting a requirement for people entering the country to take a PCR test within 24 hours of their arrival.