Infected Chinese tourist escapes quarantine in South Korea

Photo via Bangkokbiznews

South Korean police are searching for a Covid-19 infected Chinese tourist who escaped from a quarantine hotel last Friday.

The South Korean news website, KBS News, reported yesterday that local police have been unable to track down the 41 year old Chinese man who escaped Covid quarantine. The website revealed that the man entered the country via the Incheon International Airport on January 3 at 10pm and tested positive.

The man was expected to quarantine at a hotel on Yeongjongdo Island. He arrived at the hotel that night but escaped in the early hours of the morning the following day. He was spotted on a convenience store security camera, which was located about 300 metres away from the hotel.

Police believe that the Chinese tourist might have hailed a taxi near the convenience store. The store has a blind spot so CCTV could not confirm his escape route.

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An officer from the South Korean Public Health Department told the media that the Chinese tourist faces imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of 10 million Korean won (about 270,000 baht) for violating the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The tourist will also be temporarily banned from entering South Korea.

South Korea is implementing new testing requirements for travellers from China. Specifically, travellers from China must present a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test result taken 48 hours before travel, or a negative ATK test result taken 24 hours before boarding. These requirements are in effect until further notice.

The Public Health Department will also increase the number of medical workers and police to monitor foreign travellers to prevent a similar situation in the future.

Many countries tightened their disease control measures and entry restrictions toward Chinese travellers and people coming from China, e.g., Morrocco has banned travellers of all nationalities from China from entering the country.

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Mao Ning, condemned the countries that targeted their strict Covid measures against Chinese travellers.

“Some countries have taken entry restrictions targeting only Chinese travellers. This lacks a scientific basis and some practices are unacceptable.”

Four relevant ministries of Thailand, including the Public Health Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Tourism and Sports Ministry, and Transport Ministry, announced this week that they will have a meeting today about the measures for the return of Chinese tourists.

Channel 7 reported today that the rough plan is to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to Chinese tourists, require them to get at least two vaccine doses, require them to buy a health insurance package, and urge them to wear face masks when being in public places.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at