South Korea To Screen Passengers For Elevated Temperatures For All US Flights

With growing concerns about air travel due to the breakout of Covid-19 in Asia, South Korea's transport ministry announced that all passengers bound for the US would have to undergo mandatory temperature checks before boarding planes starting March 3, reported Bloomberg.

Korean Air said last Friday that it would start checking the temperatures of passengers boarding planes to the US and would deny anyone with a temperature higher than 99.5 Fahrenheit. Flights from Incheon to Los Angeles on Friday were the first to undergo temperature checks of passengers.

This comes as South Korea reported 599 new cases of the virus on Sunday night, raising its total to 4,335 and death toll to 22.

South Korea's transport ministry said mandatory temperature checks on all flights would go into effect on Tuesday. The ministry said airlines using disinfectant sprays to sterilize cabins were other efforts to minimize the spread of the virus. It said temperature checks could be coming to other routes in the near term.

The Trump administration has been hesitant to slap South Korea with the same flight restrictions that have been placed on China. Vice President Mike Pence announced on Saturday that the US had raised the travel warning to level 4 on South Korea.

The "president has also directed the State Department to work with our allies in Italy and in South Korea to coordinate a screening, a medical screening, in their countries of any individuals that are coming into the United States of America," Pence said.

With the virus spread in South Korea showing no signs of abating in the intermediate term, President Trump might want to reconsider the closure of air traffic to the country before a breakout of the virus is seen on the West Coast.