People in traditional Korean costumes wear face masks as they visit Gyeongbokgung palace in Seou, South Korea,l on Feb 23, 2020. (JUNG YEON-JE / AFP)
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government warned residents on Monday to avoid all non-essential travel to South Korea, as the government in Seoul reported 231 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the country’s total to more than 800.
Fears of a coronavirus pandemic grew on Monday after sharp rises in new cases reported in Iran, Italy and South Korea but China relaxed restrictions on movements in several places, including Beijing, as its rates of new infections eased.
Travel agents in Hong Kong have cancelled all tour groups leaving before March 31 to South Korea, a popular destination for Hong Kong residents, in response to the mass outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia there.
South Korea recorded 763 confirmed infections after adding the latest cases in Daegu, the fourth largest city of the country.
Travel agents in Hong Kong have cancelled all tour groups leaving before March 31 to South Korea due to the mass outbreak of coronavirus there
On Monday, Hong Kong’s neighboring city Macao has required all overseas visitors who have traveled to South Korea in the past 14 days be subject to medical examination on entry.
EGL Tours said it has cancelled 45 group tours with a total of 900 tourists scheduled to leave before March 31 to South Korea.
Hong Thai Travel Services, a major travel agency, said it too has canceled all its tours to Seoul before March 15 for the safety of its travelers and guides.
Hong Thai said around 30 tours with 570 travelers would not depart as scheduled for the coronavirus-hit country.
READ MORE: HK agencies suspend mainland group tours
All four travel agencies said affected travelers can change their destinations or join the tours to South Korea after the epidemic is brought under control. They are also entitled to apply for a refund.
With Reuters inputs
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