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(LEAD) U.S. keeps travel advisory on S. Korea at Level 2

03:30 April 21, 2021

(ATTN: MODIFIES lead; UPDATES with additional information in last para)
By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, April 20 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Tuesday maintained its travel advisory for South Korea unchanged at Level 2, despite new rules that it said will result in a travel ban for about 80 percent of all countries.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Travel Health Notice for South Korea due to COVID-19, indicating a moderate level of COVID-19 in the country," the State Department said in its latest travel advisory.

"This update will result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80% of countries worldwide," the State Department said earlier.

The Level 2 travel warning advises U.S. citizens to exercise increased caution when traveling to the affected country.

The U.S. advisory on South Korea has been at Level 2 since Nov. 23.

The department said the latest updated reflects "science-based" guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Our Advisories also take into account logistical factors, including in-country testing availability and current travel restrictions for U.S. citizens," it had said.

South Korea has so far confirmed some 115,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,802 deaths.

The figures mark one of the lowest rates among advanced countries with a population of 50 million or more.

South Korea currently enforces a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors, including South Korean citizens, from overseas countries.

The domestic departure lobby of Gimpo International Airport, in western Seoul, is crowded with people for weekend trips on April 16, 2021, amid the prolonged coronavirus pandemic. (Yonhap)


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