SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — With a growing number of countries are either banning or restricting entry for South Korean travelers due to the new coronavirus, South Korea’s popular culture industry is being hit hard.
K-pop stars scheduled for overseas tours or movie producers with plans for overseas filming are concerned that they may be denied entry.
South Korean entertainment companies have voluntarily postponed or cancelled events overseas to prevent any chance of spreading COVID-19.
Unilateral restrictions imposed by destination countries to ban or restrict entry of South Koreans is adding to the uncertainty.
As of Wednesday, 17 countries had decided to ban the entry of travelers coming from South Korea, while 13 countries imposed heavier entry restrictions.
The entertainment industry faces a new challenge as plans for overseas tours are being cancelled.
Some K-pop stars who were planning concerts in Taiwan or Hong Kong next month face possible cancellation as Hong Kong decided to ban the entry of all non-Hong Kong citizens who have visited South Korea in the last 14 days.
Taiwan now requires all foreigners travelling from South Korea to engage in a voluntary quarantine for 14 days, making it difficult for those in the entertainment business to hold any kind of performance.
“Internal discussion is currently underway, but there is a high chance that our show will be postponed,” said a local entertainment company.
Most K-pop bands have already cancelled or postponed tours in Asia, including domestic performances.
Entry restrictions imposed by foreign countries, however, raise future risks as they may expand to other countries if the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea worsens.
It is also difficult to predict the countries that will begin imposing entry restrictions, and what kind of measures will be taken against South Korean travelers.
“It’s not something we can choose or be prepared for. It’s all in the hands of the government of the destination country,” said an entertainment industry source.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)