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All travelers from Europe to be tested for COVID-19

Posted March. 21, 2020 07:43,   

Updated March. 21, 2020 07:43


The government decided to test all travelers arriving in South Korea from Europe from 0:00 midnight Sunday and also ordered a 14-day quarantine for those who are to stay for a long time.

“Travelers from Europe will be moved to a separate facility for a test after landing at the airport,” the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters said in a briefing on Friday. “Those who test positive will be moved to a hospital or a treatment center for treatment based on severity.”

During the process of quarantine, health authorities categorize symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Patients showing symptoms will be tested at a quarantine facility at Incheon International Airport or a facility in Yeongjong Island, while symptomless patients are to be tested at a temporary facility near the airport. It takes about a day until the result comes out.

Both South Korean citizens and foreign nationals should be isolated for 14 days if they are to stay in the nation for a long time even when they test negative. They should stay at a facility if they do not have a place to stay. But those who are here only for a short period will receive a phone call from health authorities every day. Even though the government has applied a special entry procedure to everyone arriving in the nation, it has decided to take a stronger measure as the virus is rapidly spreading in Europe.

Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com