SEOUL, July 30 (Korea Bizwire) — An increasing number of cases where the coronavirus is being imported from overseas has prompted the government to apply stricter management of all incoming travelers subject to a two-week quarantine.
Since April, all travelers coming from overseas have been required to self-quarantine for two weeks, regardless of nationality.
Incoming travelers – including short-term foreign residents who have no proper place to carry out self-quarantine – are sent to temporary residence facilities run by the government or local authorities.
In a growing number of cases, however, foreigners are breaking out of their confines to evade self-quarantine.
Last Monday, three Vietnamese nationals used a descending life line to escape from a temporary residential facility in Gimpo, Gyeonggi Province. Police have apprehended all of them Wednesday night.
This is the first case where individuals under self-quarantine deliberately escaped a temporary residential facility.
“We have installed additional CCTV cameras to cover both the inside and the grounds of the temporary residential facility. We are discussing measures with the police to deploy more personnel to patrol the area,” said Koh Deuk-Yeong, head of the Foreign Entry Management Team at the Central Disaster Management Headquarters.
The government plans to apply zero tolerance to all escapees.
Escaping a designated space for self-quarantine can be punished by one year of imprisonment or fines of up to 10 million won (US$8,400), and foreigners are subject to deportation.
Currently, there are 14 temporary residential facilities (4,378 rooms) run by the central government, and 64 facilities (2,799 rooms) run by local authorities. A total of 23,925 people have gone through the facilities since March 22.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)