A South Korean court on Friday (Jan 14) ruled that large shops and teenagers should be temporarily excluded from COVID-19 vaccine pass mandates in the capital Seoul, part of an intensifying legal fight over one of Asia’s strictest vaccination policies.
A group of more than 1,000 doctors, professors and ordinary citizens filed for an injunction last week against Seoul’s mayor to suspend the mandates, which require vaccination passes or testing for entry to most public facilities except for schools.
An administrative court in the capital said department stores, supermarkets and shops in Seoul that have 3,000 sqm or more of space should be exempted, and that the mandate should not apply to teenagers using any Seoul-based facilities.
The health ministry said it regretted the decision and would provide a formal response after an intra-agency meeting on Monday. Officials have said the policy was intended to protect unimmunised people, not force vaccination or discriminate against them.