Incheon International Airport
South Korea has decided to expand its strict quarantine procedures to all travelers from the United States less than a week after implementing the toughened measures on arrivals from Europe.
The move is part of efforts to prevent the new coronavirus from re-entering the country amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
Sehhyeong Kim reports.
Starting Friday, any traveler from the U.S. showing symptoms of the virus will be tested immediately upon arrival at the airport while those without symptoms will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Those who test positive will be hospitalized or placed in community treatment center while others with negative results will still be isolated for 14 days at home or state-designated facilities.
Short-term travelers will need to pass the virus test for entry and report their health condition to local authorities on a daily basis.
Anyone who violates self-quarantine guidelines will face up to a year in prison or a 10-million won fine.
According to Yoon Tae-ho, a senior official at Seoul's health ministry, the South Korean government is not testing everyone from the U.S. for now as it doing for those from Europe.
That's because the infection rate in the U.S. is not as high as that of Europe.
Authorities are mulling expanding the quarantine procedures to other countries as the virus continues to rapidly spread around the world.
Sehhyeong Kim, eFM News.■
<Photo: Yonhap News>
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