Quarantine on non-ebola affected nations lifted

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(3 Mar 2015) North Korea on Tuesday lifted severe restrictions on foreign travel imposed last year to keep the Ebola virus from crossing its borders.
The already isolated country virtually closed its borders to foreigners last October, halting all non-essential visas and requiring those few foreigners allowed in to undergo three weeks of quarantine.
The rules applied to diplomats, NGO workers and even senior North Korean officials returning from overseas trips.
Officials in Pyongyang said the restrictions and quarantines would continue for visitors from Ebola-affected countries in Africa and those countries that border with them.
North Korean media had suggested the Ebola virus was created by the US military for use as a biological weapon.
North Korea’s decision to set the restrictions despite the lack of any real threat – there have been no Ebola cases in Asia and North Korea has very little exchange with the African countries that have been most impacted – has been a disaster for foreign travel agencies that specialise in bringing tourists to the North.
A statement from North Korea’s state emergency quarantine committee obtained by The AP on Tuesday said tourists from Ebola-hit countries such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and their neighbouring countries would still be placed in the three-week quarantine, while tourists from other countries would be able to enter with routine medical checks.
North Korea had been pushing tourism in hopes of gaining much-needed foreign currency and has over the past few years tried to improve its tourism infrastructure.

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