Starting Friday, all travelers from the United States will be required to be quarantined at home or a state facility for 14 days after arriving in South Korea, as part of Seoul's efforts to prevent overseas entry of COVID-19.
At a daily briefing on Wednesday, the central disaster and safety countermeasures headquarters said the enhanced entry procedures for travelers from the U.S. will be effective from 12:00 a.m. Friday.
Those with symptoms upon arrival will immediately be tested for COVID-19. Those without symptoms, South Korean nationals and foreigners planning to stay long-term, will be isolated for two weeks.
Those who test negative will also need to be sequestered.
Those who neglect their self-quarantine duties will face a prison term of one year or less or ten million won or less in fines, regardless of their nationality.
In response to a rising number of COVID-19 patients who have recently been abroad, South Korea began testing all travelers from Europe on Sunday, requiring those who test negative to be quarantined at home or a state facility.
Authorities said they will decide whether to test travelers from the U.S. without symptoms depending on the situation in the U.S.