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(LEAD) Thailand-bound passengers from S. Korea required to submit health certificate

All News 18:57 March 10, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS lead, headline; ADDS health certificate submission requirements in paras 2-5)

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- All Thailand-bound air travelers from South Korea are required to submit a health certificate that shows they have not contracted the novel coronavirus, local airlines said Tuesday.

The rules reflect policy measures set by Thai aviation authorities, companies said. They said only those with official certificate can board planes bound for the Southeast Asian country.

The requirement is being enforced not only for planes coming from South Korea, but China, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong and Macau.

In addition, all visitors will be required to have applied for travelers insurance with US$100,000 worth of coverage so it can be used in the event a person tests positive for COVID-19 after arrival.

"We have been notified by Thai authorities and are passing on the information to travelers," a local airline official said.

The South Korean embassy in Bangkok said that the tighter measures will be enforced up till June 9.

Seoul's transport ministry said earlier in the day that everyone flying to Thailand must be checked for fever to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The mandatory move takes effect starting Wednesday, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said.

The rule applies to passengers for all air carriers operating flights from South Korea to Thailand, regardless of their nationality, it added.

South Korea's two full-service air carriers -- Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. -- currently operate flights between Incheon and Bangkok. Thai Airways International Public Co. provides services on Incheon-Bangkok and Gimhae-Bangkok routes, while Thai AirAsia X Co. also offers flights between Incheon and Bangkok.

In this file photo taken on March 5, 2020, an official checks the body temperature of a passenger at Incheon International Airport. (Yonhap)

In this file photo taken on March 5, 2020, an official checks the body temperature of a passenger at Incheon International Airport. (Yonhap)

The ministry said passengers with body temperatures of 37.5 degrees or higher could be denied boarding.

Irrespective of the ministry's announcement, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines have been conducting fever checks on passengers for their international flights departing from Incheon International Airport since last week.

After massive COVID-19 infections have been reported here, many countries have been imposing entry restrictions on people from South Korea.

As of Tuesday morning, a total of 109 countries and territories were imposing entry bans or tougher quarantine procedures for people from South Korea over coronavirus concerns.


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