Overseas K-pop concerts, film shoots hit by travel restrictions over virus

Overseas K-pop concerts, film shoots hit by travel restrictions over virus

Feb 27, 2020

Seoul (South Korea), Feb 27: K-pop and the Korean film industries are taking a blow from mass coronavirus outbreaks in the country as more foreign nations move to restrict inbound trips by South Koreans and travelers with a record of visiting the country.
Since the first local COVID-19 case was confirmed on Jan. 20, K-pop talent agencies and artists have voluntarily canceled or postponed their concerts in and outside of the home country, dealing a blow to the major source of their revenues and promotion.
Since this week, the industry has been bracing for further damage as mass coronavirus outbreaks in South Korea, especially the southeastern city of Daegu, have caused many foreign countries to adopt entry bans on South Koreans and travelers who have visited the country.
On Thursday, South Korea reported 334 new cases, bringing the country's total infections to 1,595 as of Thursday morning. So far, 13 people have died in the country from the highly contagious virus.
According to the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 21 countries have so far imposed entry bans on travelers who recently visited Daegu and a nearby county of Cheongdo, the epicenters of the mass virus outbreaks in South Korea.
More than 20 countries, including the Netherlands, France and Austria, have either raised travel advisory alerts or recommended their nationals cancel nonessential travel to South Korea. Twenty-one others toughened quarantine processes.
The K-pop industry is under siege by the widening travel restrictions.
An official representing a K-pop act said the artists' plan to host concerts in Taiwan and Hong Kong next month may be canceled or delayed as the two countries are currently restricting the entries of people with a record of visiting South Korea.
"It is highly likely that the concerts may be postponed," the official said.
Relentless coronavirus outbreaks here are also likely to lead to uncertainties in overseas K-pop performances set for several months later, with no signs being shown over when the entry bans will be lifted.
The film industry is also reeling from the widening entry bans, on top of a nose-dive in the number of moviegoers amid the growing local virus outbreaks.
A team of production staff members for a new movie starring Hyun Bin and Hwang Jung-min, whose Korean title is translated as "Negotiations," recently flew to Jordan to shoot some scenes.
Jordan later imposed an entry ban on travelers who have visited South Korea, jeopardizing the project as other staff members are unable to enter the Mideast country, cinema officials said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency