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58 countries restrict entry from coronavirus-hit S. Korea

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Nearly 60 countries are restricting the entry of travelers from South Korea with bans or tougher quarantine procedures over coronavirus concerns, foreign ministry data showed Friday, as the number of infections rose to more than 2,300 confirmed cases here.

South Korea's government issued an advisory asking its people to reconsider or delay any planned travel to countries that have imposed restrictions due to worries that people could face inconveniences or safety issues.

As of Friday, twenty-seven parts of the world have entry bans on South Koreans and foreigners who have visited the Asian country in the past few weeks, up from the previous day's tally of 22. They include Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Jamaica and two others.

A few more European countries began to toughen quarantine procedures for people from South Korea, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Iceland and Croatia. Several African nations, such as Malawi, Zimbabwe and Kenya, as well as Mexico, are enforcing similar measures.

Many of these countries have added China, Japan, Singapore and Italy -- where major outbreaks of the virus have occurred -- on their quarantine lists.

That puts the number of countries with tightened quarantine processes at 31, including China.

Shanghai and eight provinces in China are imposing stricter quarantine processes for all international passengers or those coming from South Korea and Japan, with the list likely to increase further given that many provincial governments have already been enforcing similar measures.

According to the foreign ministry, 19 countries, including the United States, have raised their travel advisories for South Korea, with 29 others having issued infectious disease warnings and safety alerts. Nine countries have so far suspended flights to and from Korea.

Vietnam has said it will suspend a visa-waiver program for South Korean visitors this week over coronavirus concerns. The Southeast Asian nation is among the countries that have banned the entry of Koreans and visitors from the South's city of Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, where the bulk of the confirmed cases were reported.

South Korea's foreign ministry issued a travel advisory against countries imposing entry bans or toughening quarantine processes on its citizens.

"Our citizens who have any plan to travel to those countries are advised to reconsider or postpone them in comprehensive consideration of local situations and actual need for the trips and activities," the ministry said.

South Korea added 571 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of infections to 2,337 with 13 deaths.

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