The Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters said on Wednesday that it would grant 14-day quarantine exemption to Korean business people returning from their business trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and China as the three nations are deemed “low risk” countries for coronavirus. But they must stay less than 14 days in the countries. The Pulse News, a South Korean media reported.
“The privilege comes with a responsibility, so companies must not let their guard down on prevention,” the organization emphasized.
The Korean government has been enforcing mandatory two-week quarantine and virus testing for all arrivals from overseas. Exceptions have only been granted to people visiting Korea for diplomatic or official purposes, those who hold entry certificates for signing business contract or participating in international contests, and those entering the country on humanitarian affairs.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during the meeting with the organization that controlling imported cases is one of the key prevention measures of the government, but the exemption for business people is necessary to boost the economy that is heavily relying on foreign trade. He urged the authority to arrange detailed guidelines to prevent unexpected side effects.
In a separate move, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is seeking to form “travel bubbles” or selective border openings with Asian neighbors including Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand where COVID-19 spread has been mostly contained to aid the sluggish tourism industries.
According to the Pulse News, within a travel bubble, people will be given an “immunity passport” that will exempt them from mandatory 14-day quarantine upon entering the countries under agreement.
Reporting by Choi Mira