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22 Jun 2020 | 02:11 AM UTC

South Korea: Authorities restrict foreign arrivals amid rising COVID-19 cases June 21 /update 24

South Korea News Alert

South Korean health authorities limit entry of foreign nationals amid rising COVID-19 infections June 21; confirm travel itineraries

TIMEFRAME expected from 6/22/2020, 12:00 AM until 7/13/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Seoul). COUNTRY/REGION South Korea

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The Ministry of Health and Welfare issued a statement on Sunday, June 21, announcing they plan to limit the number of foreign nationals entering South Korea through a temporary restriction on visas and a ban on non-scheduled flights. Exceptions will be made for government officials and essential business trips. The move comes amid a rise in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. On Saturday, June 20, South Korea recorded 67 cases, the highest daily increase since May 27, with 23 of these reported to be visitors from either Pakistan or Bangladesh. On Sunday, a further 48 cases were confirmed. South Korea began easing COVID-19 restrictions in April, but in recent weeks have reintroduced some of these as cases have increased under the relaxation.

As of June 21, authorities have confirmed 12,421 cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 280 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


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 labored 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 non-essential 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 COVID-19 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, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider. 


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