Jeju Island and Gangwon Province, both popular domestic tourist destinations, will enhance quarantine measures for visitors during the long weekend, bracing for a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections, officials said Wednesday.
The “golden holiday” includes Buddha’s Birthday on Thursday, International Workers’ Day on Friday and Children’s Day on May 5, giving people a chance to take up to six days off.
Many tourists are expected to visit the tourist towns during the holiday ― as evidenced by most hotels in those regions have been almost fully booked ― with the infections showing signs of a slowdown and the government’s social distancing rules being eased.
Authorities in the southern resort island of Jeju said visitors with body temperature over 37.3 degrees Celsius will be asked to move to a virus screening center at Jeju International Airport for testing, beginning Thursday.
The island has already been directing those with body temperatures over 37.5 degrees Celsius to go through coronavirus testing at the airport, but lowered the standard temperature this time to strengthen the quarantine.
In preparation for the many visitors, the airport installed two walk-in booths for additional testing of those recording temperatures over 37.3 degrees Celsius. The booths are easily accessible on foot and return results quickly.
The island authorities have also placed thermometers at every tourist attraction, and will not allow those not wearing face masks to enter indoor facilities.
Officials from the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province visited 873 travel-related companies based on the island on Monday and Tuesday, to ensure awareness of and adherence to quarantine guidelines.
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“The nation is at a critical time in its fight against the pandemic,” Vice Health Minister Kim Kang-lip said in a press briefing. “The obvious fact is that community infections can occur even now, and this could lead to cluster infections. We ask all citizens to cooperate.”
The Jeju Tourism Association (JTA) expects around 24,000 daily visitors to the island during the holiday period, a jump from 11,640 tallied on March 30.
Gangwon Province, which has many tourist attractions along the East Sea and mountainous areas, is also bracing for the long holiday, implementing special quarantine measures.
Provincial officials have directed bus and taxi companies to disinfect their vehicles.
Thermal imaging cameras will be operated at bus terminals, train stations, and expressway service areas to consistently check the temperatures of visitors.
The province has also installed special booths at major tourist attractions to assist in checking the health of visitors. Those showing symptoms associated with the coronavirus will be sent to public health centers in the region, the officials added.
Source: The Korea Times