Mobility Crisis And Response In The Time Of COVID-19: The Republic Of Korea’s Approach

The Republic of Korea has managed to flatten the curve of the novel coronavirus without imposing an internal lockdown and while maintaining its open-border policy, despite being one of the first countries outside of China affected by COVID-19. The Government has focused on using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for early widespread testing, contact tracing and spreading essential emergency information while simultaneously strengthening border controls and implementing strict quarantine measures in the country. This issue brief presents the Government of Korea’s response to COVID-19 from a mobility perspective, to provide an understanding of the factors that have allowed the country to slow the spread of the virus while keeping its borders open. The Korean case is country-specific, and this issue brief does not represent universally applicable best practice. However, the policies, decisions and solutions identified in this brief may serve as a resource for other governments facing crises caused by the pandemic to develop their respective context-specific responses.