The planned expansion of South Korea’s Covid-19 vaccine pass system to include 12- to 18-year-olds will be implemented in March as scheduled, despite a Seoul court’s restraining orders, a government agency said Monday.

The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters said the government will stick to its policy of enforcing the youth vaccine pass program beginning March 1, as the share of teens aged 12 to 18 in the daily new Covid-19 cases has remained above 25 percent amid a slowdown in their inoculation rates, reports Yonhap News Agency. As of Monday, 12-to 18-year-olds accounted for 28.8 percent of new cases, while their primary vaccination and second dose completion rates reached 78.6 percent and 66.5 percent, respectively.

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Since November 2021, South Koreans over 18 have been required to present a vaccine pass or a negative PCR test conducted within the previous 48 hours to enter various multi use facilities.

But the Seoul Administrative Court suspended the vaccine pass mandate for cram schools, public study rooms and study cafes, responding on January 4 to a petition for a preliminary injunction. Moreover, the same court on January 14 again ordered that vaccine pass requirements be halted for mis aged 12-18 at all facilities in Seoul, pending the outcome of a main lawsuit filed last month by opponents of the vaccine pass enforcement.

The court said the man date is unreasonable because of uncertainties about adverse reactions and long term effects of vaccinations on teenagers.

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