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(2nd LD) 103 countries, territories restricting entry from S. Korea over coronavirus fears

All News 20:02 March 08, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 2 paras)
By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- A total of 103 countries and territories were enforcing or planning to impose entry restrictions or tougher quarantine procedures on people from South Korea over coronavirus concerns, the foreign ministry said Sunday.

The tally, as of 6 p.m., remains unchanged from late Saturday's figure, but the number of countries and territories barring the entry of travelers from all of Korea rose by one to 37, according to the foreign ministry website.

Saudi Arabia was moved to this list as it now bars the entry of people who have been in Korea, Japan, Italy and Azerbaijan in the past two weeks. The Middle Eastern nation had imposed the ban for China, Taiwan and a few others, whereas for Korea, it had only barred the entry of tourists.

Six other countries were either planning to enforce or already imposing an entry ban on people who have been in two of Korea's southeastern areas -- Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province -- where the bulk of COVID-19 infections have occurred.

Some of them apply the ban to a few other nearby cities and counties as well, like the Maldives, which imposes the ban on Korea's second-largest city of Busan.

Starting Sunday, Indonesia is banning the entry of foreigners who have visited Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province.

Japan is set to adopt a temporary 14-day self-quarantine for people flying in from Korea and China from Monday and ask them to refrain from using public transport. Flights can only land at Narita International Airport near Tokyo and Kansai International Airport in Osaka.

A total of 15 countries and territories, including 18 Chinese provinces, are currently quarantining people from South Korea or other virus-affected countries at designated facilities.

The number of countries and territories imposing stricter immigration controls, such as a suspension on the issuance of arrival visas, or requiring or recommending self-quarantine stood at 45.

Of them, Cyprus has toughened the self-quarantine recommendation by conducting surveys and temperature checks on people, including its own citizens, coming from Korea, China and other virus-hit countries.

Tunisia also now places all foreigners flying in from Korea, China, Italy and Iran under a 14-day self-quarantine regardless of whether they show possible symptoms.

South Korea added 367 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday morning, bringing the nation's total number of infections to 7,134, with 50 deaths.

Meanwhile, a Seoul official defended the government's countermeaures in response to Japan's new entry restrictions against South Koreans as "restrained and principled."

The Seoul government said Friday it will halt a visa-free entry program for Japan and take other countermeasures in response to Tokyo's decision to impose new restrictions for South Korean visitors over coronavirus fears.

Tokyo announced that from March 9-31, visitors from South Korea and China will be asked to stay at designated facilities for two weeks and refrain from using public transportation. It also plans to suspend the 90-day visa-free entry program for South Koreans on Monday.

(2nd LD) 103 countries, territories restricting entry from S. Korea over coronavirus fears - 1


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