Top News South Korea ends quarantine exemptions to fend off Omicron By TTG Asia / Posted on 2 December, 2021 15:22 South Korea will scrap quarantine exemptions for fully vaccinated travellers for two weeks from Friday (December 3), as the country moves to tighten travel restrictions after detecting its first five cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant on Wednesday. A fully vaccinated couple tested positive for the variant after arriving last week from Nigeria, followed by two of their family members and a friend, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). South Korea mandates 10-day quarantine for all incoming travellers; Incheon International Airport pictured As part of tightened border measures, all travellers entering the country will be tested for the new variant. From Friday, all inbound travellers will have to serve a 10-day quarantine, halting exemptions previously given to fully vaccinated travellers. The measure will be in place for two weeks. South Korea has also announced a suspension of direct flights from Ethiopia for two weeks starting Saturday. In addition, the government is also barring arrivals from eight African countries, with Nigeria added to that list on Wednesday. South Korea has an established vaccinated travel lane with Singapore. According to a report by The Straits Times, a check with KDCA showed that no decision has been made yet about whether VTL travellers will be subject to the mandatory quarantine. The KDCA reported 5,266 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, a day after the daily tally rose above 5,000 for the first time, with the number of severe cases reaching a record 733. The new cases bring South Korea’s total to 457,612, with 3,705 deaths.