South Korea will lift restrictions on arrivals from China's Hubei province, believed to be the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreaks, starting Monday, as virus cases have eased there and China has relaxed entry bans for South Koreans, health authorities said Friday.
Since Feb. 4, South Korea has imposed entry bans on foreigners who visited or traveled to Hubei province in the preceding two weeks and holders of visas issued by Hubei authorities.
South Korea also has suspended visa-issuance work by its consulate general in Wuhan, the provincial capital where the new coronavirus was first reported late last year.
"We will lift entry restrictions on arrivals from Hubei as the province has not reported virus cases recently and China eased coronavirus restrictions on the entry of South Koreans," Vice Health Minister Kim Ganglip said in a briefing.
China started Wednesday to accept visa applications from South Korean students and workers and those with valid residence permits under the condition that they tested negative for the virus.
In March, China imposed entry bans on foreigners to contain inflows of the virus from overseas. South Korea has become the first country to receive the lifting of such restrictions by Chinese authorities.