Red travel alert issued for Korea

February 24, 2020

(To watch the video with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Government today issued the Red Outbound Travel Alert on Korea due to the health risks arising from the COVID-19 outbreak there.


It noted that due to the persistent and rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Korea and the close contacts between Hong Kong and Korea, the Government decided to issue the red alert based on public health considerations.


Secretary for Security John Lee told a press briefing this evening that issuing the red alert was for the benefit of Hong Kong people who had travelled to Korea and those planning to go there.


“This is to let Hong Kong people think really carefully about whether the visit to Korea is avoidable. Try not to go unless it is really necessary. That will reduce, first of all, the number of Hong Kong people who may be returning to Hong Kong after visiting Korea. That will reduce the number of people who need to be examined carefully at the airport.

"And this measure is for the benefit of people who are planning to visit Korea and also for Hong Kong people at large because they will be in some way interacting with the people who have visited Korea.”


Starting from 6am tomorrow, the Department of Health’s Port Health Division will issue quarantine orders to Hong Kong residents returning to Hong Kong who have been to Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do in Korea in the past 14 days and arrange them to stay in quarantine centre for quarantine. Hong Kong residents returning from other cities and provinces of Korea will be required to undergo medical surveillance for 14 days. 


Mr Lee said: “The Immigration Department will examine visitors who arrive in Hong Kong since the new quarantine order, i.e. to ascertain whether the visitors have ever been to the Mainland within the last 14 days. So that examination has taken place. And now, we will extend that examination to cover whether the visitor has been to Korea in the last 14 days.”


He also reminded the public that providing false information to health officers is a criminal offence.


“It is a very serious offence and I wish to reiterate that the measures that we are introducing are for the benefit of the visitors themselves and also for the benefit of Hong Kong people at large. So, understand the consequences and appreciate the need for introducing the measures.”

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