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Passengers from U.S. required to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days

Passengers from U.S. required to undergo self-quarantine for 14 days

Posted March. 26, 2020 07:46,   

Updated March. 26, 2020 07:46


Starting from 12:00 a.m. Friday, passengers arriving from the U.S. will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days even if they do not show any coronavirus symptoms at the time of entry. They must be also tested if suspicious symptoms occur during the self-quarantine period.

“Based on reinforced quarantine measures on passengers from the U.S., South Korean nationals and long-term foreign residents are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, effective from March 27,” announced the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters on Wednesday. “Short-term foreign residents and those who show symptoms, regardless of nationality, will be tested at airport quarantine booths.” Those who do not conform to self-quarantine principles will be sentenced to one year or fined up to 10 million won. The government has imposed stricter quarantine measures amid the increase of passengers from U.S. as the number of infected patients in the U.S. surpassed 55,000 on Wednesday.

Unlike passengers from Europe, however, a full inspection will not be done for those from the U.S. Tests will be run for South Koreans coming from the U.S. and long-term foreign residents show symptoms of the virus during 14 days of quarantine. The South Korean government introduced such measures considering that the coronavirus situation in the U.S. is not as high as that of Europe. It also considered the government’s daily testing capacity.

The number of passengers coming from the U.S., however, doubles that of Europe. As of Monday, the number of passengers from Europe was 1,203 while that of the U.S. was 2,418. “We will do a full inspection while monitoring both the coronavirus situation in the U.S. and the trend of confirmed cases in passengers from the U.S.,” said the health authorities.

As of Wednesday midnight, more than half (51) of newly confirmed cases of 100 were confirmed to be cases from overseas. In particular, the number of confirmed cases at quarantine offices was 34: Gyeonggi (21), Daegu (14) and Seoul (13).

Joo-Young Jeon aimhigh@donga.com