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Koreans Flee U.S. over Coronavirus

2020/03/24 Source

Travelers are screened for coronavirus at Incheon International Airport on Monday. /Yonhap

Korean students and expats are fleeing the U.S. as a coronavirus lockdown there looms.

Students are heading back to Korea in droves as schools and universities have shut down and switched to online lectures. Many say they are willing to pay for expensive plane tickets to return to Korea.

Surging infections in the U.S. and concerns over inadequate quarantine efforts are compounded by fears that Korea may soon close its borders to travelers from that part of the world.  

At present, flights from the U.S. are 90 percent booked, and the prices of economy-class tickets that usually cost around US$1,500 have doubled or tripled. This is due both to surging demand and the number flights from Los Angeles to Incheon decreasing from twice a day to just once and from Washington to Incheon from seven days a week to just three.

The number of coronavirus cases among visitors to Korea has also surged. According to quarantine officials, 47 cases were found at airport screening booths here as of Sunday, up from 11 just a week ago.

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