Seoul, Dec 9 (EFE).- South Korea on Thursday began to recognize the vaccination status of foreigners inoculated outside the country, which will allow them access to booster shots and entry into venues that require proof of vaccination.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said in a statement that starting Thursday, foreigners in South Korea who have been inoculated overseas will be able to register their vaccinations at the municipal public health center.
This will allow them to obtain the vaccine pass that the government has mandated from this week for entry into public spaces including cafes, restaurants, libraries, museums, cinemas and gyms.
They will also be able to request the corresponding booster dose in South Korea.
For months, the government has recognized the vaccination status of South Korean nationals vaccinated overseas but not that of many foreign residents who had received vaccines abroad either because of supply shortage in South Korea or because they had been jabbed before moving to the country.
This discrimination prompted protests from the embassies of the European Union and countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and India, as well as the European Chamber of Commerce.
This is not the first time during the pandemic that foreign legations have protested to the South Korean authorities for treatment widely deemed discriminatory.
In March, South Korean capital, Seoul, and the nearby province of Gyeonggi demanded that all foreigners residing or working in these areas – around half a million – undergo a PCR test within a specified period or risk being fined 3 million won (about $2,500).
This demand was made following the detection of outbreaks in factories employing foreigners, an argument against which embassies protested citing a lack of scientific basis. This led Seoul to end the mandatory testing. EFE