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South Korean MPs propose bill that would allow foreigners with fake Covid-19 test results to be deported

South Korean MPs propose bill that would allow foreigners with fake Covid-19 test results to be deported
A group of South Korean lawmakers has submitted a bill that would allow the deportation of foreigners that present fabricated certificates of negative Covid-19 test results upon entry into the country.

Lee Yong-ho, one of the authors of the bill, told South Korean media that the proposed legislation would “save losses in our quarantine resources and medical workforce, as well as prevent possible damage to others who have abided by the quarantine measures.”

“There are several foreigners who have violated the law and entered the country, but no clear [legal] grounds to have them deported,” Lee explained. The ultimate aim of the bill is to “improve quarantine efficiency,” he said.

Under the existing rules, travelers from countries on the government’s ‘high-risk’ list must present a document proving that they tested negative for Covid-19 two days before departure to South Korea. Six countries – Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and the Philippines – are currently on the list.

However, 11 out of the 43 recently-arrived foreigners tested positive for the coronavirus after presenting certificates of negative test results when entering the country, according to media reports. Lee said two travelers – one from Pakistan and one from Kazakhstan – were accused of forging their certificates.

South Korea was forced to bring back tougher restrictions amid the continued rise in Covid-19 infections. On Monday, Seoul officials banned gatherings of more than five people in the capital between December 23 and January 3, with the exception of weddings and funerals where up to 50 will still be allowed. The same rules will apply to the Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul.

The Korea Times reported that the country has had more than 1,000 new cases a day for five consecutive days over the past week. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 926 new cases on Monday, which brought the total number of infections since the start of the pandemic over the 50,000 mark. A record-high daily death toll of 24 was registered on Monday, raising the overall number of deaths from Covid-19 to 698.

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