126 countries, territories restricting entry from coronavirus-hit S. Korea

Jay Yim, March 13, 2020, 10:51 a.m.

A total of 126 countries and territories were imposing an entry ban or tougher quarantine procedures for people from South Korea over coronavirus fears Friday, up by three from the previous day, the foreign ministry said.

As of 2 p.m., 51 countries and territories were barring the entry of travelers who have been in Korea at least in the past two weeks, joined by Honduras, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Sudan.

Honduras began to impose an entry ban on foreigners from four virus-affected countries including Korea, toughening the travel curb from conducting thorough health screenings. Foreigners with residential permits and diplomats are not subject to the entry ban but are required to undergo home quarantine.

Slovakia now bans the entry of all foreigners, with some exceptions applied to those with residential permits or diplomats. The Czech Republic bans the entry of foreigners from over a dozen virus-hit countries, except for permanent residents and those with work visas.

Sudan also bars arrivals of travelers from Korea, China, Italy and a few others.

China added one more province -- the northern province of Hebei -- to its list of provinces imposing tougher quarantine procedures, putting the total at 22. Including China, the number of countries and territories enforcing stricter quarantine programs on people from Korea remained unchanged at 18.

Fifty-one countries and territories were conducting stricter immigration controls and requiring or recommending isolation for visitors from Korea.

Guyana, a country in South America, and Mali in West Africa were the latest to have jointed this category.

Six countries, including Japan and Indonesia, were barring the entry of travelers from Korea's Daegu city and North Gyeongsang Province -- the two epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreaks.

As of early Friday, 2,355 South Koreans were under quarantine around the world, with 1,902 in China and 386 in Vietnam, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, three South Korean teams deployed to Vietnam last week to help citizens in quarantine returned to Seoul on Friday.

The "rapid response" teams worked in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang to provide them with daily necessities and help them be quickly discharged from quarantine. It also helped two Korean tourists in quarantine fly back home.

South Korea reported 7,979 cases of infections on Friday morning, with 67 deaths linked to the virus.

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