South Korea Issues Travel Warning towards Four ASEAN countries

South Korea, travel advisory, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam

South Korean tourists in Vietnam

Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are the four countries which are under a travel warning advisory from the South Korean Government. The advisory is also including China and Taiwan. 

South Korea on Tuesday strongly advised its nationals to refrain from traveling to Singapore and five other Asian countries, in addition to China, which has reported the most confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

In an effort to contain the virus that has rapidly spread across the continent, the Seoul government asked people to limit their travel to Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore.

“The measure is part of efforts to prevent the inflow of the novel coronavirus into the country through a third nation,” Kim Gang-lip, deputy head of the central disaster headquarters, announced earlier last week. The advisory was made by the disaster headquarters that is operated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and it is separate from a regular travel warning announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On February 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) picked the six countries as possible places where the virus is possibly spreading within communities.

The first consequence has been a sharp reduction in total flights between the incriminated countries and South Korea. While Korean Airlines maintain numerous flights between Seoul Incheon -its main hub- and capital cities of the four ASEAN countries, low cost carriers suspended most of their frequencies while flights to secondary cities are temporarily terminated. South Korea is the second largest source of visitors for Vietnam with 4,29 million travellers in 2019 (up 23.1% over 2018) and represented a total of 1.88 million travellers to Thailand (up 5.1% over 2018) and a total of 0.65 million travellers in 2019 to Singapore (up 2.6%). To Malaysia, total Korean arrivals during the first nine months of the year reached 0.51 million, up 9.7% over the same period of 2018. In 2018, 617,000 Koreans were recorded in Malaysia.

(Source: Yonhap News Agency)