PSA: South Korea Is Temporarily Suspending Visa-Free Entry To Jeju Island

The suspension is brought about by the novel coronavirus epidemic.
PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO/CHRISINTHAI

If you have plans of heading to South Korea’s Jeju Island in the near future, then you might want to make changes to your itinerary.

On February 7, the Bureau of Immigration revealed that visa-free travel to Jeju Island has been temporarily canceled due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

According to a report from PhilStar, Port Operations Divisions chief Grifton Medina said that the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines has informed the bureau of the new travel ban policy on January 3.

The suspension was announced one day after the Philippines confirmed the first fatality from the 2019-nCoV, which was the first death outside of China where the virus originated.

According to Mr. Medina, immigration officers have been instructed to disallow Filipinos bound for Jeju to depart “unless the passenger was issued a visa by the Korean embassy.”

The suspension of visa-free privileges applies to other countries as well.

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In a Facebook post, the Jeju Tourism Organization wrote: “This temporary measure is aimed at stopping any new coronavirus infections in the province and mainland, by strengthening entry procedures. This includes [the] screening of new visas.”

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As of February 6, there have been no recorded cases of coronavirus infections on the island.

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In November 2019, the Korean Embassy in the Philippines issued a visa announcement stating that there are three ways to enter the country visa-free. One of the options is through Jeju Island where individuals have a maximum stay of 30 days as long as they used a direct international flight or a ship to the island.

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