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28 May 2020 | 04:11 AM UTC

North Korea: British embassy in Pyongyang closes due to COVID-19 restrictions May 27 /update 2

North Korea News Alert

British embassy in Pyongyang closes and staff leave country due to COVID-19 restrictions on May 27; follow official directives and refer to home governments’ advisories

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/28/2020, 12:00 AM until 6/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Pyongyang). COUNTRY/REGION North Korea, Pyongyang

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As of Wednesday, May 27, the British embassy in Pyongyang has been temporarily closed due to travel restrictions implemented by the North Korean government in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Such restrictions have not made it possible to properly staff the embassy and maintain full operations. According to the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, limited remote consular support will be available by calling (+44) (0)207 008 1500.

All air and train routes into and out of North Korea have been suspended as of January 31.

Foreigners who have traveled into North Korea from COVID-19-affected countries are subject to a 30 day period of quarantine and medical supervision.

To date, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Korea. 


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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