S. Korea’s hotels, airlines and others offer perks to encourage inoculation

This file photo shows tables and chairs that are not being used to keep social distancing at a cafe in Seoul. (Yonhap). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEOUL, Jun 19, 2021, Yonhap. A variety of industries ranging from hotels to movie theaters and local governments are giving discounts and other promotions to vaccinated people to encourage more people to be inoculated as the nationwide rollout speeds up, Yonhap News Agency reported.

As of Friday, a total of more than 14.23 million people have received their first shots of COVID-19 vaccines here, accounting for around 27.7 percent of the country’s 51.3-million population, since the country started its vaccination program on Feb. 26, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The country’s ambitious COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been on track and achieved its end-June inoculation goal earlier than scheduled, with numerous retail and business establishments joining the antivirus fight.

Shilla Stay, a budget line of Hotel Shilla Co., is offering various discount packages for vaccinated customers when they show certificates.

Millennium Hilton Seoul and Conrad Seoul Hotel, both top-tier hotels in downtown Seoul, are offering between 30 and 50 percent discounts at their buffet restaurants for vaccinated customers.

Movie theaters, which have suffered a sharp drop in moviegoers amid the pandemic due to social distancing rules, are also offering discounts.

Three major multiplexes — CJ CGV, Lotte Cinema and Megabox — said they offer 50 percent discounts for a vaccinated person plus one.

Airliners and travel agencies are also offering upgrades and discounts for their vaccinated customers as the government has eased its mandatory 14-day isolation for vaccinated people.

The new rule, set to be implemented next month, will allow people who have been fully inoculated in the country two weeks after receiving COVID-19 jabs to be exempted from isolation when arriving here from overseas, the KDCA.

TMON Inc., one of the country’s major e-commerce operators, has joined hands with local travel agencies to offer coupons and discounted vouchers that can later be exchanged for flight tickets and tour packages.

Local governments have also moved to offer various incentives to vaccinated individuals in an effort to increase the vaccination rate and eventually help people return to their normal lives.

Vaccinated people can gain free entry to various government-run parks or facilities, such as gyms, or can access public centers that have so far been closed down.

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