In a joint statement issued via Twitter, the missions said that they have asked the South Korean government “for urgent recognition of foreign nationals fully vaccinated overseas.”
The tweet continues, “They should have same access rights to public facilities as those Korean nationals fully vaccinated overseas.”
Foreign nationals who have completed inoculation overseas are unable to register their vaccination history with Korean authorities for the vaccine pass system. Those without a vaccine pass are not allowed at cafes, restaurants, libraries and cinemas under the government’s latest antivirus measures.
The five other countries that joined the US on Twitter are the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India.
In a separate post on its website also on Tuesday, the US Embassy called the situation “discriminatory.”
Saying it “brings undue hardship to US citizens vaccinated outside Korea,” the embassy added it has raised “serious concerns” with South Korean counterparts “at the highest levels.”
The Korea Herald learned that the embassy began taking the view that the current situation surrounding foreign nationals vaccinated abroad is “discrimination” as early as late November in emails exchanged with US citizens.
Local health authorities have been under growing pressure to accept records of vaccination completed in another country, with officials citing the difficulty of verification.
Since late October, South Korean nationals vaccinated abroad could submit foreign vaccination certificates and be recognized as vaccinated just like those who received their shots at home. But foreign nationals vaccinated abroad have not been allowed access to the same process.
“We‘ll continue to seek a satisfactory response on this question. Disappointing and frustrating that none has so far been forthcoming,” UK Ambassador Simon Smith said in a separate tweet Tuesday.
Australian Ambassador to South Korea Catherine Raper also said the Australian Embassy has asked the South Korean government for urgent recognition of foreign nationals who received their shots overseas.
“They should have same access rights to public facilities as those Korean nationals fully vaccinated overseas,” she said.
By Yim Hyun-su (firstname.lastname@example.org)Internet Explorer Channel Network