S. Korea: Long-term visa holders must have medical examinations before returning


  • AseanPlus News
  • Saturday, 23 May 2020

A family wearing masks to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) arrive at Gimpo international airport in Seoul, South Korea. Foreign long-term residents of South Korea will need to obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the country, and a medical exam before returning, to help stem Covid-19 (coronavirus) infections, according to government notices posted online. - Reuters

SEOUL: Foreign long-term residents of South Korea will need to obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the country, and a medical exam before returning, to help stem Covid-19 (coronavirus) infections, according to government notices posted online.

On Saturday, South Korea reported 23 more cases of the Covid-19 compared to 24 hours ago, bringing the total number of infections to 11,165.

The daily caseload stayed above 20 for the second straight day.

Of the new cases, four were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 1,204.

Two more deaths were confirmed, raising the death toll at 266. The total fatality rate stood at 2.38 per cent.

A total of 32 more patients were discharged from quarantine after making full recovery, pulling up the combined number to 10,194. The total recovery rate was 91.3 percent.

Since Jan 3, the country has tested more than 814,000 people, among whom 781,686 tested negative for the virus and 21,569 are being checked. Enditem

Some foreign embassies began issuing notices dated on Thursday (May 21), and the new policies were outlined in Korean on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Asked about the notices, the presidential Blue House on Friday confirmed the changes but said the Ministry of Justice would make a formal announcement, possibly as soon as Sunday.

According to the notices, starting on June 1, South Korea will temporarily require re-entry permits, which are usually waived for long-term visa holders. If the permit is not obtained at a local immigration office before departing South Korea, the resident will lose their visa.

The provision does not apply to diplomatic or official visas or 'overseas Korean' visas - given to people with a foreign parent or grandparent who once held Korean nationality.

Shortly before returning to South Korea, the resident will need to undergo a medical examination, and then present a signed certificate to immigration officials upon arrival.

"The diagnosis shall be written in English or Korean, signed by a medical examiner and issued by an authorized medical institution," the Indian Embassy to South Korea said in a statement.

"It shall also include the date of examination and the presence or absence of fever, cough, chills, headache, breathing difficulty, muscle pain, and pulmonary symptoms."

Like all arrivals from overseas, returning long-term residents must still be tested and submit to a mandatory two-week quarantine, though they can self-isolate at home if they do not have symptoms.

A total of 1,200 infections are from overseas, and nearly 90% of them are Korean nationals flying back from abroad. - Reuters
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