North Korean officials suspend foreign tourist visits to the county from Jan. 22 as a precaution against novel coronavirus.

Severity: Warning Alert

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This alert began 22 Jan 2020 18:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 26 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Inbound foreign tourism suspended
  • Location(s): North Korea 
  • Time Frame: Indefinite from Jan. 22
  • Impact: Travel and business disruptions

Summary
North Korea has cancelled all inbound visits by foreign tourists indefinitely from Jan. 22 due to concerns over the spread of novel coronavirus in nearby countries. Authorities have closed the Dandong-Sinuiju border crossing to Chinese tourists. As of Jan. 22, it is unclear whether the travel ban might eventually be extended to diplomatic staff, students, and business travelers, though at least some travel restrictions and quarantine measures are likely.

Background and Analysis
The precautionary measures follow a significant increase in reported cases of 2019 novel coronavirus in China, as well as confirmed cases in Japan, South Korea, the US, and Thailand. Chinese officials recently confirmed person-to-person transmission of the virus. North Korean authorities imposed strict inbound travel restrictions and quarantine measures during an Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa in 2014 and during the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in East Asia.

Advice
Contact travel providers for details on arrangement status if scheduled to visit North Korea in the coming months.