COVID 19 - Advisory Korea

Updated as of September 17th, 2020.

 

Summary

Status of Covid-19 in Korea

As of September 16th 2020, the Korean Ministry of Health reported 19,466 cumulative cases including 367 deaths since the beginning of the crises, most of them located in Daegu and the province of North Gyeonsang, as well as the Gyeonggi region. The same day, the KCDC (Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reported the number of people having been checked to be more than 2.1 million since the beginning of the outbreak.

Social Distancing & Business Continuity Measures

 

Public Guidance for Level 2 Social Distancing

Social distancing level was raised from level 1 to level 2 for Seoul and Gyeonggi from August 16th, for Incheon from August 18th, and was extended nationwide on the 23rd. 

 
 

In the region of Seoul, private or public gatherings and events with more 50 persons indoor or 100 persons outdoor have been prohibited, except in the case of General Assembly for Shareholders.

A number of popular social outing places have been closed such as buffets, club and room salons, karaokes, Internet cafes. However since September 13th , the country relaxed restriction on eateries, franchise coffee chains and other facilities in the wider Seoul area, which can operate normally but which strictly manage entry logs of customers. The level 2 rules will be implemented until September 27th, date from which the government will decide to extend them or not.

Additionally the city of Seoul made compulsory the wearing of masks as of August 23rd until further notice. Please refer to the Seoul Metropolitan Government webpage for further information.

The KCDC also issued more recommendations:

  • Do not go to work if feeling sick
  • Postpone or cancel non-essential outings, social gatherings, events, or travels
  • If going out, follow infection prevention guidelines

 

More information

 

Measures Implemented by 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 
  • 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.

 

MOTIE STANDARD PLAN (ENG) 
 

 

Support for companies in Korea

Korean New Deal

The Korean Government announced in June the Korean New Deal focusing on the digital economy, the green economy and social inclusion. Over 1.9 bn jobs is planned to be created and 160 trillion KRW will be invested until 2025 as follows:

  • 58 tn for the Digital economy
  • 73 tn for the Green economy
  • 28 tn to strengthen social safety net

Full Plan

 

Summary of Economic Measures against Covid-19

The Korean Government released a comprehensive document on its economic measures against Covid-19, including tax relief, fiscal, financial and administrative support detailed by size of companies and sectors. Specific measures are implemented for:

  • SMEs and small businesses
  • Export industries
  • Local economy
  • Airline and shipping industries
  • Tourism, restaurants and service industries
  • Workers and consumers  

FULL DOCUMENT
 

Support for Employers and Employees


The Korean Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOEL) also 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
     

FULL DOCUMENT

 

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 local NTS Office. The government has also revised the Restriction of Special Taxation Act twice this year to give tax support.  By revising the taxation act, it can provide such tax support as:

  • 50 percent tax reduction for commercial property rent cuts
  • VAT cuts given to small businesses of which the revenues do not exceed 80 million won a year
  • 30 percent to 60 percent corporate tax reduction for SMEs located in the disease hit areas
  • One percent tax reduction for the payment made three months in advance
  • Up to 80 percent tax deduction for credit card use and 70 percent individual consumption tax cuts for car purchases

The government has drawn up the 2020 tax revision bill to help recover from damages incurred by the pandemic, and to encourage individuals and businesses to continue going forward. 
 

More info

 

Our webinars and ressource on business support
 

How to access the government's support package?
 

The Korean Strategy for business continuity
 

Q&A on business support for foreign-invested companies

 

Measures for exporters in Korea

The French Government has released four exceptional measures to help the exporters heavily hit by the sanitary crisis:

  • The granting of state guarantees through Bpifrance for guarantees and pre-financing of export projects will be strengthened in order to secure the cash flow of exporting companies. 
     
  • The current prospecting insurance will be extended for one year, allowing an extension of the covered prospecting period.
     
  • 2 billion euros will be provided for short-term export credit insurance thanks to the expansion of the Cap Francexport public reinsurance system. 
     
  • Support and information by the operators of Team France Export (Business France, Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Bpifrance) will be strengthened, in conjunction with the regions and the network of foreign trade advisers, together with the support of private actors. A specific watch on each geographical area of ​​interest to the companies concerned is set up. 

 

MORE INFO

Useful links and contacts

 

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

KCDC WEBSITE  (Korean, English)
 

Covid-19 government official website (Korean, English)
 

korean mINISTRY OF HEALTH WEBSITE  (Korean, English)


Korean Ministry of Economy and Finance (Korean, English)
 

Covid-19 Seoul metropolitan government webpage (English)


EMBASSY Website  (French)
 

FKCCI  (French/Korean/English)

 

Lastest Webinars

Status of Commercial Freight 

The outbreak of the virus has disturbed significantly the transport & logistics operations worldwide and in Asia. In China, most freight services (airports, ports and trucking) have recovered as Bolloré Logistics reports, but the price has increased significantly. In Korea, all ports, airports and customs office are operational, but the situation remains very tight with increasing rates for air freight with Europe and the USA. Bolloré Logistics also reports regarding sea freight that total lead time of the vessel is getting longer due to added sailing port without prior notice, but terminal congestion has been more and more stabilizing. Regarding global air freight, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released a platform to help companies have updated information on a daily basis on cargo operations available here. 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 August 21st, 154 countries have forbidden entry from Korea, including countries like Australia, Malaysia, Taiwan or Singapore. Other countries restrain arrival or put in place sanitary control or quarantine of persons traveling from Korea. Quarantine measures were adopted in the USA, Japan and most Chinese provinces. 

From March 17th, the French president also announced the closing of external borders of the European Union, however the European council adopted on June 30th a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU as referred here. It is still 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

 

 

Entry in 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

 

All inbound travelers are required to undergo a 2 weeks self-quarantine. Foreign residents should also apply for a re-entry permit and medical examination prior to reentry. Exemptions can be granted for business trips upon application, in which case the FKCCI can assist you.

More info 

 

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Past Updates on Covid-19

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