Government to fully remove all COVID-19 mask mandates in August


SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) — The government has announced plans to adjust the COVID-19 pandemic’s infection classification level to the lowest Class 4 in August, and will be fully lifting the mask mandate across the country, government officials said Sunday.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency have stated that COVID-19 will be classified as an endemic disease, similar to influenza and hand, foot and mouth disease, next month.

At the moment, COVID-19 is classified as a Class 2 infectious disease, such as tuberculosis, measles, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A, and leprosy.

In early June, the government removed the majority of pandemic-related restrictions, and the mandatory isolation period was also decreased to five days as a recommendation, instead of the original seven-day requirement.

However, the mask requirement was still enforced in general hospitals and other high-risk places, like nursing hospitals.

This undated file photo shows outbound passengers at a local airport in South Korea amid sharply eased COVID-19 restrictions. (Yonhap)

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