North Korea to lift Ebola-related travel ban, says tour operator

As North Korea's Ebola fears subside, the travel ban on foreigners may be lifted before the Pyongyang Marathon in April, says Beijing-based Koryo Tours.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  March 2, 2015 at 12:49 PM
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BEIJING, March 2 (UPI) -- North Korea is setting aside its fear of Ebola and reopening its borders to foreign tourists, said North Korea travel specialist Koryo Tours.

The Beijing-based tour operator said there is "some movement in the current travel ban" and more details are expected, according to a company statement issued Monday.

Pyongyang officials also are expected to lift a restrictive 21-day quarantine on all visitors that has been in effect since October, reported Yonhap.

Young Pioneer Tours, another China-based travel specialist in North Korea, said they have confirmed North Korea's decision to lift the ban in the near future, but stated on Twitter that the development is "very premature as of now."

North Korea's ban on travel has received attention since Pyongyang organizers informed its travel partners in February that an annual marathon in North Korea's capital will not be open to foreign runners.

The North Korean ban due to Ebola fears has been the subject of speculation at a time when global restrictions on Ebola-related travel are being lifted.

South Korean analysts said last week the North Korean leadership believes North Korea's healthcare infrastructure could not contain a deadly epidemic.

In 2014, 200 athletes representing 27 countries took part in the Pyongyang Marathon.

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