Since the Coronavirus outbreak in countries all around the world, people start to be really careful about the preventions and protect themselves from getting Covid-19. Countries all around the world are trying their best in order to control the virus situation and various policies are implemented.
As a student that studying in South Korea, I actually came to South Korea before the virus outbreaks all around the world. So, I didn’t really experience much about Covid in my own country, but I did have experiences in South Korea. And today, I am going to share with you my stories on how I get a COVID-19 test here. Is it really free for foreigners? And how we foreigners are been treated when we take a Covid-19 test.
I actually took a total of three tests during my stay in South Korea. The first time was 14 July 2020. I went to Chuncheon to take my Topik exam and I fall sick after I came back from the exam. I got a fever and some kind of throat pain and my lecturers advised me to take a Covid-19 test since I just came back from another place. That was my first time taking a Covid test and I was really nervous that time. My lecturer brought me to a walk-through center where I register on the spot. After waiting for a long time, they call my name and gave me tubes, and asked me to get into the room. Everything was fast and did effectively. It just took me around few minutes to finish the test. They asked me a few common questions and helped me to take the test. After everything was done, they just collected my tube samples and I was instructed to pay at the counter. It costs me around 130,000won a COVID-19 test since I didn’t have any insurance. So, I need to pay the original price.
The second time is where I fall sick again and it was actually after my school holiday. So, I got some advice to take a Covid-19 test and I took it at the same place. But, this time I just went there by myself and I registered on the spot. The procedure was basically the same and they called my name when it was my turn. I just went to the room they asked for and it finished within 10 minutes too. And this time I still paid the same amount as the first time since I didn’t have health insurance.
The third time was May this year and I went for the COVID-19 test not because I fall sick, but just because I need to participate in a tourism event. And all the participants need to take a test unless they already took it in April 2021. But this time was a little bit different. The Korean government had made health insurance compulsory to buy for foreigners residing in South Korea. And although I had moved to another area in South Korea, I still went to the same place where I took the test last time. And I just reserved a visit online before I went there. So, when I reached there, I just confirmed my arrival at the kiosk and waited for them to call my name. And everything is still the same and just the reasons are different since I was not sick at all. And since I had the health insurance, I just need to pay around 10,000won instead of 130,000won.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea, the government had made a lot of efforts as well as policies in order to control the situation. For example, the 1-2 meter social distancing, and gathering less than five people. And also, since all foreigners in South Korea had insurance now, it is really convenient and less burdensome for us to get any medical treatment in South Korea.
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