April 29, 2020 / 2:51 PM / a month ago

Some Chinese local governments to allow fast-track entry of Koreans

SEOUL (Reuters) - Ten Chinese local governments have agreed to allow a fast-track entry of businessmen from South Korea under which they are exempt from strict coronavirus quarantine measures, South Korean authorities said on Tuesday.

China has blocked entry for nearly all foreigners in an effort to curb risks of coronavirus infections posed by travellers from overseas. China’s foreign ministry said last week it was in talks with some countries to establish fast-track procedures to allow travel by business and technical personnel to ensure the smooth operation of global supply chains.

A person in Korea has to get tested for coronavirus within 72 hours before departure, and again get tested in China during a couple of days of quarantine period.

Starting May 1, the rules will apply to employees of Korean companies or Chinese firms that have operations in China and want to visit 10 areas, including Shanghai, Chongqing and Tianjin.

South Korea is the first country wto have received fast-track status from China, its biggest trading partner, the South Koreab foreign ministry said in a statement.

fast-track status will ensure that essential economic activity is guaranteed while honouring quarantine principles to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the ministry said.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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