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S. Korea mulls mandatory home quarantine for arrivals from Europe

National 21:03 March 19, 2020

SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is considering imposing 14 days of mandatory quarantine at home on all arrivals from Europe in an effort to stem imported cases of the new coronavirus, government sources said Thursday.

Starting at midnight, the government expanded its special inspection procedures to all South Koreans and foreigners entering the country.

"The government is strongly considering whether to oblige all entrants from Europe to stay in isolation at home for 14 days," said a government official who asked not to be named. "The measure is highly likely to be announced during a government meeting tomorrow."

Passengers undergo special quarantine procedures at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on March 19, 2020, as the government implemented the strengthened measure for all inbound passengers the same day amid the global pandemic. (Yonhap)

Currently, the Seoul government asks arrivals to voluntarily stay in self-quarantine for two weeks. They are also required to download a self-check mobile application that allows them to regularly report their state of health to the authorities.

The measure comes as confirmed cases of COVID-19 have surged in Europe in recent weeks. The number of patients in Italy topped 35,000, the largest number of infections outside China, the epicenter of the global pandemic.

The government, however, is not considering banning entrants from Europe, according to the sources.

khj@yna.co.kr
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