The transport ministry announced on Monday that from next month, the country will relieve the restriction on direct flights from Britain in a constricted manner in consideration for the Korean people residing in the said country.
The ban was imposed by the Asian country since December 23, particularly on passenger flights, in a bid to prevent the entry of the more infectious variety of virus first detected in the European nation.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the country will only permit a single flight per week through a couple of complete service air transport from Britain for the Korean locals’ convenience.
Now with the new policy, the ministry said that Korea Air Co. And Asiana Airlines will be allowed to run a flight on Saturday and Sunday every two weeks.
It said that the Asiana Airlines will service the first flight, departing on May 9 from Heathrow Airport in London to Incheon International Airport in the country.
The ministry said that it will be permitted to retain the capacity level below 60 percent while 90 percent of the vacant slots will be provided to Koreans.
The latest detection of many COVID-19 variants has added to the burden of the current war against the pandemic as they are more infectious than the first virus strain.
Since October, there have been a total of 449 virus variants logged in the country.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention (KDCA) said this number included 388 cases from Britain, 51 from South Africa, and ten from Brazil.
Apart from the three main virus variants, 321 more “emerging” variants cases were reported by health authorities.
These variants, which included nine cases of the variant from India, were reported since December.
A flight suspension from India was imposed by authorities since Saturday in a bid to block the entry of the new variant that can trigger another increase of cases in the country.
All travelers who entered the country since last week were required to undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests upon arrival. The measure is applicable to both foreigners and Korean nationals.
On Monday, the KDCA said the country has added 500 more cases, which pushed the case tally to 119, 387.
Health authorities have announced that this week will become an extraordinary time to put an end to the present pace of the infections.
Among the measures in place are the ban on dining-in by civil servants, as well as the implementation of work from home arrangements and the part-time operations of public offices.