President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday stressed the need to limit an influx of COVID-19 cases from overseas, calling for stern legal measures against those who violate related regulations.
At the meeting, the government also postponed the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, or P4G, summit scheduled to be held in Seoul in June to next year.
Speaking at Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Moon said that while the outbreak is slowing in Korea, the country must remain vigilant as each cluster transmission increases the burden on the country.
“The increasing influx from overseas requires stronger measures and thorough controls,” Moon said, adding that the two-week mandatory isolation for those entering from overseas that goes into effect from tomorrow must be strictly enforced.
From Wednesday, all individuals entering the country from overseas are required to self-isolate for two weeks. Under the measures, all people arriving from Europe will be tested for the coronavirus at the port of entry, and go into self-isolation. Korean residents will be required to isolate at their residence, and be tested for the virus within three days of arrival. Those arriving for a short-term stay will be placed into isolation at designated facilities.
Arrivals from other regions will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and get tested if they develop symptoms.
“In order to defend the safety of the community, strong and stern legal measures must follow when the isolation measures are violated,” Moon said.
While the outbreak in Korea has slowed, the number of cases coming in from overseas has grown in recent days, with some individuals breaking quarantine regulations.
Going on to say that postponing the beginning of the school year again has become unavoidable, Moon urged the education authorities to fully prepare for online education, and to ensure that no students are left out.
At the meeting, Moon also called on government agencies to reduce spending to redirect resources to emergency measures.
“In order to minimize state debt in drawing up the second supplementary budget, restructuring of government expenditure is unavoidable,” Moon said, referring to the planned supplementary budget to fund disaster relief subsidies. On Monday, the government said that a subsidy of up to 1 million won ($820) will be provided to each household in the bottom 70 percent income bracket. To raise the central government’s share of the cost, the government plans to submit a supplementary budget bill in the coming days. The central government will provide 80 percent of the funds required, with the remaining 20 percent covered by local governments.
Moon also stressed the importance of international cooperation in dealing with the pandemic, saying that economic exchange among countries must be maintained, and that cooperation is key in the fight against the pandemic.
On the postponement of the P4G summit, Cheong Wa Dae said that the event has been pushed back to next year after discussing the matter with concerned countries. The date of the event will be decided at a later date, Cheong Wa Dae said.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org