COVID 19 - Advisory Korea

Updated as of March 20th, 2020.

Summary

Latest Updates

Status of Passenger Freight (March 26th, 2020)

  • Quarantine measures in Korea for travelers from Europe.
  • 170 countries restrain arrival or put in place sanitary control or quarantine of persons traveling from Korea.
  • Visa extensions for French in Korea

Prevention Measures (March 20th, 2020)

  • Emergency Ready App available
  • Masks purchase procedure

 

Covid-19 Working Group

Assessments made by the COVID-19 Working Group

On March 10th, 2020, the FKCCI organised the first session of the COVID-19 working group composed of FKCCI representatives, as well as experts and representatives of vaccine institutes, healthcare companies, air companies and the French Embassy. The goal of the working group is to give useful information to the French-Korean business community going beyond general information widely available on conventional media. The working group discussed three topics:

  • Cross border impact on international travels.

All airline companies have adopted measures to limit operations of flights between France and Korea until the end of March or April.
-    Air France will not operate any Paris to Incheon flights until May 3rd and Incheon to Paris flight until May 4th.
-    Korean Air decided to keep operating daily but has downsized the aircrafts from Airbus 380 (407 seats) to Boeing 777-300 (291 seats) until March 28th.
-    Asiana Airline has stopped all operation between France and Korea until April 24th.
 
The airline companies are looking daily at the evolution of the situation and may change their schedule accordingly. The working committee advises travelers to check every day the status on international travels as they are changing fast.
 
As of now, no strict restriction on travel between France and Korea are implemented, but quarantine and health checks are done on travelers showing symptoms (see the article on Passenger Freight below). As for business trips, it appears most companies have halted them except those of utmost importance.

  • Business continuity during the crisis

The Covid-19 Working Group stressed several practices and key learnings to ensure smooth business continuity.
 
-    Companies have installed systems such as home office but for employees who are not used to such working conditions and isolation for a long period, it is advised to provide assistance. This notion of employees’ resilience should be considered seriously, and associations such as International SOS can provide personalized assistance in that regard.
 
-    Another key learning is IT preparedness for business continuance and home office measures. It was noted that even if IT tools are ready, companies should make sure their employees are educated and used to the IT tools for remote work.
 
-    Thirdly, it was advised that managers should always keep sight of the after-crisis period and make plan for mid-term business recovery. CEOs should designate a person specifically in charge of the crisis management to make time for overseeing mid-term and long-term business planification.

  • Assessment of the crisis management

As many uncertainties remain on the outbreak of the virus, it is advised to maintain prevention measures as long as it has not been contained definitely. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is currently leading global research on the virus to aggregate and select the most promising researches on COVID-19.
 
The daily discovery of cases in China and Korea have stabilized or slowed down thanks to their remarkable management of the sanitary crisis, owing to the strong involvement and discipline of the authorities (the KCDC in Korea in particular), economic actors and the population in terms of prevention and respect of general hygiene guidelines. Some interrogations were raised about the rest of the world whether Europe or United States would have such capacity of mobilization. It was stressed that China and Korea should be taken as business cases to follow.

 

Status of Covid-19 in Korea

As of March 26th 2020 at 12am, the Korean Ministry of Health reported 9,241 cases including 131 deaths, most of them located in Daegu and the province of North Gyeonsang, which includes the city of Chaeongdo. The same day, the KCDC (Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reported the number of people having been checked to be 341,332.

Business Continuity Measures

 

Measures Implemented by Several French Companies in Korea

  • Working hours adjustment to avoid rush hours in the transports or implementation of home office  
  • Home office for high-risk persons (pregnant women, persons with chronic diseases)
  • Home office for persons coming from high-risk areas, or with a family relative in a similar situation
  • Limitation of business trips, especially to risk zones (Daegu, North Gyeonsang, China)
  • Limitation of in-person meetings, and favor video conferences and calls.
  • Provision masks and handwash in all facilities
  • Implementation of fever detection system in entrance areas
  • Implementation of split team shifts
  • Disinfection offices and other sites
  • Communication weekly to employees on prevention recommendations
 
 
 


Standard Plan for Business Continuity


The Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has released its 'Standard Plan for Operation Continuance of Companies upon Occurrence of an Infectious Disease'. In the case of the occurrence of an infectious disease, each business shall establish a preparedness/response plan, and designate a division/manager to assume this responsibility. Headed by a committee composed of the CEO and teams' heads, the plan should include a medical expert to advise the committee, a response team to deliver the instructions of the Committee and maintain contact with government agencies, and the mobilization of all working-level staffs. Below is an example of response system advised by the MOTIE.

Download the MOTIE standard plan for business operation continuance

ENG

 

 

Measures announced by the French Authorities

The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs raised the warning level for Korea and issued those recommendations including:

  • Follow the recommendation from local authorities
  • Avoid closed contact with people who have fever or who are coughing
  • Wash your hands with soap or use alcoholic hand gels
  • Limit trips in Korea except those which are essential

French Embassy Recommendations

 

Government's Support Scheme

Support for Employers and Employees


On March 3rd, the Korean Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOEL) has announced its guidelines for organizations and businesses to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as support measures such as financial assistance to quarantined employees, or the implementation of flexible hours and home office systems.

  • Employers' support for paid leave if an employee is hospitalized and quarantined by the health authority: daily salary per individual, max. of 130,000 KRW per day, application to National Pension Service branch
  • Employees' support for living expenses if hospitalized and quarantined employee does not benefit from paid leave: emergency welfare assistance of KRW 1.23 mn per 4-member household
  • In case of shutdown decided by a business owner, the employer shall pay 70% of the average wage
  • Assistance to priority companies that use a flexible working system (commuting based on time lags, home office, telecommuting): 2.6 MW per person per year if the system is used once or twice a week, and 5.2 MW per person per year if the system is used 3 times a week

Download the MOEL guidelines and support measures

ENG

 

Special Fiscal Measures


The National Tax Service announced an extend of the deadline to report and pay corporate tax for companies suffering from new coronavirus infection and a early VAT refunds. Such companies have to submit a request to their NTS Office.

 

Financing of the Government Support Scheme


KRW 11.7 tn extra budget to minimize economic fallout has been submitted to the National Assembly on March 5th. A decision would be taken until March 17th. Read More (ENG)

  • 3.2 tn to balance tax losses
  • 3.0 tn to secure labor market and boost local consumption (vouchers for low-income families & part refunds on energy-efficient products)
  • 2.4 tn to support SMEs affected by the breakout (mainly to finance low interest rate loan through IBK)
  • 2.3 tn to upgrade the quarantine system and medical capacity
  • 0.8 tn for regional economy recovery

ENG

For FKCCI Members, the Chamber is currently in liaison with KOTRA about difficulties encountered by foreign businesses during this crisis. Should you have any request about specific public support, please contact the FKCCI Director, Mr. Cédric LEGRAND (cedric.legrand@fkcci.com).

 

Solidarity Actions

The French Business Community acts together against Covid-19


The city of Daegu and the French Korean Business Community have developed a strong friendship over the years. As an example, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the City of Daegu and the French Embassy in Korea was signed in 2016. In addition, several large French companies are located in Daegu and benefit from the city's infrastructure. Among them Dassault Systèmes, EGIS, Valeo, Veolia as well as an “Alliance Française.

Facing the growing Covid-19 crisis in Korea, the city of Daegu, the main coronavirus cluster in the country, is in urgent need of masks, medical staff and hospital rooms. In this context, the French Korean Business Community has decided to express its support to Daegu City and its population. As actions are better than words, the FKCCI coordinated a solidarity movement from French companies to donate masks. On March 12th, the FKCCI delivered so far 4,500 masks, including 2,500 masks KN95, a certified high-quality model suitable for medical staff to Daegu City.

L'Oréal

On March 4th, L’Oréal has donated 200 million KRW to the Korean Red Cross to support relief efforts in the fight against the current COVID-19 outbreak. “We recognize that it is a very challenging time for the wider community in Korea,” said Christian Marcos, President of L’Oréal Korea, “we believe it’s important to come together and help those in need as part of our commitment to Korea.”

Michelin

Michelin Korea has been carrying out flexible fund program and financial aids as well as supporting masks and hand sanitizers worth 100 million KRW for their partners. Michelin Korea said “`We truly feel responsibility to take such actions to contribute to addressing social issues on a basis of our values of respecting people and sharing difficulties with customers and partners to realize sustainable growth”

FKCCI Business Center

For businesses in need for office space during disinfection process of their own facilities as part of their reponse plan to the virus outbreak, the FKCCI can supply spare offices in its business center. For more information, contact s.chaieb(@)fkcci.com

Take part in the solidarity movement of the French-Korean business community!

  • Fill the donation form here
  • Send us your donation in cash or in kind (masks) to our address

 

Your Business Already Undertook Solidarity Actions?


The FKCCI is coordinating and sharing communications on the mobilization of the French-Korean business community! Let us know : communication@fkcci.com 

Useful links and contacts

  • KCDC Hotline: 1339  (Services available 24/7)
     

KCDC WEBSITE  (Korean, English)
 

MINISTRY OF HEALTH WEBSITE  (Korean, English)


EMBASSY Website  (French)

 

Sanitary Prevention

Status of Commercial Freight 

The outbreak of the virus has disturbed significantly the transport & logistics operations worldwide and in Asia. In China, except Hubei Province, most trucking services have recovered, but the price has increased significantly. Regarding air freight, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, decreased by 3.3% in January 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. Bolloré Logistics reports that, except for Wuhan airport which remains closed, all other China airports are operating as usual. Most airlines have highly or completely stopped their operations to China Mainland airports. Capacity is dramatically reduced on commercial flights. Upon entry at Incheon Airport, a sanitary checkpoint is put in place.

Check the status BY GEODIS 

Check the Status by Bolloré Logistics

 

 

 

Status of Passenger Freight

Restrictions to travelers from Korea

As of March 23rd, more than 170 countries restrain arrival or put in place sanitary control or quarantine of persons traveling from Korea. 116 countries have forbidden entry from Korea, including Australia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Quarantine measures were adopted in 26 countries including most Chinese Provinces. And about 50 countries put in place special sanitary check-ups upon arrival.

From March 17th, the French president also announced the closing ot external borders of the European Union. However no strict banning of going out of French territory is imposed. It is advised to French residents in Korea to stay in Korea. To that end, extensions of visas (such as PVTs) are granted.

For more information in French, refer to the French Embassy web page.

Click Here

 

For more information in English, refer to the National Association of Air Transportation.

Click Here

 

For more information in Korean, refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

click here

 

 

Restrictions to travelers going to Korea

For travelers wishing to come to Korea, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has raised the alert for travelers to "orange": traveling to Korea is strongly discouraged to avoid the propagation of the virus. 

click here

Korea has applied special entry measures to everybody traveling from Europe or the USA applied since March 22nd. The US has also suspended most travels between the United States and Europe for 30 days.

Concerning travelers transiting from China, the Korean authorities also forbid entry since Feb. 4th to all foreign nationals who visited the Chinese province of Hubei during the two weeks prior to entry on the Korean territory. 

Emergency Ready App

An app, called "Emergency Ready App" available on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s AppStore in English that provides useful information in urgent situations was launched on March 5. The app contains emergency contact numbers and teaches users how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Click here

 

Mask Purchase Procedure

To resolve a shortage of masks, the Korean government has come up with a new measure called “5-day rotation system for mask distribution.” It is a policy that allows people to purchase masks on designated days based on their birth years. One can buy masks on Mondays if the last digit of one’s year of birth is either 1 or 6, Tuesdays if it is either 2 or 7, Wednesdays if it is either 3 or 8, Thursdays if it is either 4 or 9, and Fridays if it is either 5 or 0. Weekends are open to all people who were unable to purchase masks during the week.

Foreigners are required to present their alien registration card  and national health insurance when purchasing masks.

Click Here

 

Daegu and parts of Gyeongbuk Region Designated as Special Disaster Zones

On March 15th, the Korea Government has designated Daegu and parts of Gyeongbuk Region as "special disaster zones". Regulated by the Framework Act on the Management of Disasters and Safety, the designation of "special disaster zone" allows to extend financial help by the State and reduce  social security charges, taxes and utility fees. Under this regulation, the government can subsidize up to 50% of restoration expenses. This is the first time the government applies this regulation in case of the breakout of an infectious disease.

Previously, on Feb. 21st 2020, Daegu Gyeongbuk Region and Gyeongsan District were designated as  "special care zone" which involved no legal framework.

 

Revision bills relating to epidemic prevention 

The National Assembly revised three legal acts (Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act, Quarantine Act, Medical Services Act). The Government can restrict exports of medicine & medical equipment, fine suspected patients who don't abide to quarantine orders, and ban the entry of foreigners coming into Korea from a country hit by an epidemics of infectious diseases. 

Read more

As of Feb. 25th, the Korean Ministry of Health advises the following preventive behavior:

For the general public:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a sleeve when you cough or sneeze
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wear a mask when you visit a medical institution and go out
  • Refrain from visiting many people
  • Avoid contact with people with fever and respiratory symptoms (High risk group: Pregnant women, 65 years old or older, persons with chronic diseases)
  • Avoid crowded places

For a person with fever or respiratory symptoms:

  • Do not go to school or to work
  • Rest at home and observe 3-4 days
  • If high fever persists or worsens above 38 degrees, consult with your local public health center or call ‘1339’ or ‘Area Code +120’
  • Tell your health care team about your travel history and whether you have respiratory symptoms.

For a person living in epidemic area:

  • Refrain from going out and visiting other areas.
  • The quarantine should be strictly followed by the medical personnel and authorities locally.

 

As of Feb. 23rd, the government decided to upgrade the infectious disease crisis warning level to ''severe'' as a preventive measure against the possibility of the nationwide deployment of Covid-19. This status implies several actions including:

  • Self-quarantine measures and upgraded health personal and facilities at disposal in Daegu and North Gyeonsang
  • Nationwide deployment of additional medical means to prevent the spread of Covid-19
  • New code of conduct for infectious disease prevention including restraint from organizing or joining group events and from going to crowded indoor spaces and going outside in case of fever or respiratory symptoms

The Korean infectious-disease crisis alert has 4 levels : interest (blue), warning (yellow), vigilance (orange), severe (red). At the "severe" level, the responsibility of crisis management is transferred under direct authority of the Prime Minister. This status enables the Government to forcibly prevent public activities and order the closure of schools and facilities.

Download the Feb. 25th Ministry of Health Notice

ENG  KR

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