Courts in the cities of Daejeon and Incheon have ruled against the government's plan to expand the COVID-19 vaccine pass system to include teenagers.
The Daejeon District Court on Friday ruled in favor of 96 plaintiffs who opposed the planned enforcement of the youth vaccine pass system.
The court said the vaccine pass mandate could not be seen as reasonable for teens because they have a remarkably low rate of COVID-19 severity and mortality, adding that their exclusion from the system is unlikely to cause significant adverse effects on public welfare.
The Incheon District Court made the same ruling on the same day in a lawsuit filed by 80 citizens and activists.
Earlier, courts in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province made similar decisions ordering the halt of vaccine pass requirements for the 12- 18 age group.
Since November, South Korea has required people over the age of 18 to present a vaccine pass or a negative PCR test conducted within the previous 48 hours to enter various multiuse facilities.
The government said it plans to expand the pass system to youths 12 and up from April 1, one month later than originally planned.
Meanwhile, the same Daejeon court on Friday rejected a petition by about 1,500 citizens for the suspension of the government's decision to extend COVID-19-related social distancing restrictions
"The need for restrictions on the size of private gathering and operating hours of multiuse facilities is recognized to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant," the court said.
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