Seoul – South Korea says it’s considering enforcing self-quarantines on all passengers arriving from overseas as it scrambles to block the coronavirus from re-entering the country amid broadening outbreaks in Europe, the United States and beyond.
Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho made the comments on Friday as the country began enforcing 14-day quarantines on South Korean nationals and foreigners with long-term stay visas arriving from the United States while selectively testing those with symptoms.
South Korea is enforcing similar quarantines for passengers arriving from Europe but testing all of them for COVID-19.
There’s concern about a rise in infections in the populous Seoul metropolitan area brought from students and other South Korean nationals returning from the West amid broadening outbreaks and suspended school years.
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says at least 309 of the country’s 9,332 infections have been linked to recent arrivals, with most of the cases being detected in the past two weeks.
The island province of Jeju says it’s considering pushing criminal charges against a 19-year-old student who returned from the United States last week and her mother for traveling the island for five days through Tuesday although the student was exhibiting chills and other symptoms. The student tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Seoul on Wednesday.