SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, March 31, 2020 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it will provide 100,000 face masks which filter is replaceable to international students and foreign residents in Seoul who have difficulties to purchase masks offered via public channels because they do not have the public health insurance of Korea.
Amid the spread of the new coronavirus, South Korea has implemented the “five-day ration system” allowing citizens to purchase masks supplied by public retailers on one weekday according to the last digit in their birth year. To buy masks through this system, foreigners should present their health insurance certificate as well as alien registration certificate. However, it is the reality that it is difficult for most international students to purchase masks because they do not have health insurance or because they have language barriers and other conditions.
Although last year the South Korean government introduced the health insurance mandatory system for foreigners who stay in Korea for more than six months, international students were temporarily excluded from the system until February 28, 2021.
Taking such circumstances into consideration, the Seoul Metropolitan Government distributed filter-replaceable face masks to 40 universities and support facilities for foreigners.
Each eligible foreign student may receive one mask and five mask filters from the school he or she attends, and foreign workers can receive them at the Seoul Global Center, the Southwest Global Center and six foreign workers centers.