The South Korean government has said that it will strengthen visa and entry restrictions for those from Bangladesh and Pakistan from this week, as the country has recently reported a surge in novel coronavirus cases imported from the two nations, reported The Korea Herald today.
Under the precautionary measures, set to be effective from Tuesday, the South Korean authorities will restrict issuing visas to people from Pakistan and Bangladesh, except to those with diplomatic and urgent business purposes.
At the same time, they will temporarily halt permission to non-scheduled flights between South Korea and those countries, the report added.
Moreover, the government will thoroughly check if foreigners with non-professional employment (E-9) visas have accommodation for a two-week self-quarantine in South Korea before arrival. Those who do not secure proper facilities will be banned from entering the country, The Korea Herald report read.
The toughened entry restrictions came as South Korea has faced a steep curve of new coronavirus cases from overseas in June.
There were 13 imported Covid-19 cases on June 12 and a 68-day high of 17 cases reported on June 19.
The daily number of foreign arrivals also rose to 1,300 in recent days, up from around 1,000 per day in April, according to the government.
"Those imported cases are from countries that recently experienced widespread infections," Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said in a press briefing today.
"A rise in imported cases places a burden on our quarantine and treatment capabilities," Park said.
South Korea has been struggling with a resurgence of new coronavirus infections in Seoul and the surrounding areas.
The country reported 48 new Covid-19 cases today, including eight imported cases, with the cumulative number of infection reaching 12,421.