More Countries Ban Travelers from Korea

  • By Pak Soo-chan

    February 25, 2020 10:01

    Hong Kong has banned all travelers from Korea due to the explosive rise in coronavirus infections here over the weekend. All Koreans who do not live in Hong Kong and any foreigners who visited Korea over the last 14 days are prohibited from entering Hong Kong.

    Officials there checked passengers aboard four Korean flights that arrived on Monday and placed visitors from Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province on a monitoring list. The Hong Kong government also issued a travel advisory recommending that citizens avoid traveling to Korea.

    Taiwan said is placing all visitors from Korea under 14 days of quarantine starting Tuesday. Taipei raised its travel advisory to Korea to "warning" on Monday, advising all Taiwanese to avoid traveling to Korea unless absolutely necessary.

    Korean tourists board an Israeli charter plane in Tel Aviv on Monday. /Yonhap

    Israel, which already closed its door to new Korean visitors, decided to send back 1,000 Korean tourists who are currently there. The Korean Embassy in Israel issued an urgent notice on Monday and said the Israeli government prepared two charter flights to transport them safely back home on Tuesday. Some 200 returned on Tuesday and another 200 are set to arrive later this afternoon.

    A group of Korean honeymooners who visited the island nation of Mauritius have been quarantined by government officials there. Mauritius barred the 34 Koreans who arrived there on Sunday. Some of the honeymooners are pregnant.

    After being detained at the airport for about seven hours, the newlyweds had their passports confiscated and were transported to a quarantine facility about an hour from the airport. The Foreign Ministry here said, "We lodged a protest with the government of Mauritius, which prohibited entry to our citizens without prior consultation with our government."

    The Korean Consulate in Madagascar, which handles diplomatic affairs with Mauritius, said officials there confirmed that the Korean honeymooners will be sent back to Korea once flights are arranged.

    Korean newlyweds are detained in a quarantine facility in Mauritius on Monday. /Yonhap

    In Da Nang, Vietnam all passengers including 20 Koreans aboard a VietJet flight from Daegu on Monday were quarantined. According to the Foreign Ministry here, they were transported directly from the airport to a hospital in Da Nang. The ministry said it also lodged a protest because the measure was taken without telling Seoul.

    Macau has already started subjecting all visitors from Korea to strengthened health screening that lasts six to eight hours after classifying Korea as a high-risk area of coronavirus infection.

    Thailand decided to impose 14 days' quarantine on all students who have visited Korea. That brings the number of countries who have banned or restricted travelers from Korea to 18.

    Meanwhile, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 893 confirmed infections as of Tuesday morning, over 80 percent of them in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, and one more patient died of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total to eight.

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