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North Korea's Ebola-related ban to keep travelers from West Africa under quarantine

Pyongyang Marathon organizers told tour operators they will allow foreigners to run but those coming from countries in West Africa will be subjected to a 21-day quarantine.

By Elizabeth Shim
The North Korean flag flies over the North Korean embassy in Beijing. North Korea lifted a Ebola-related travel ban this week but according to tour operators a mandatory 21-day quarantine is in effect for travelers from West Africa. UPI/Stephen Shaver
The North Korean flag flies over the North Korean embassy in Beijing. North Korea lifted a Ebola-related travel ban this week but according to tour operators a mandatory 21-day quarantine is in effect for travelers from West Africa. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

BEIJING, March 4 (UPI) -- North Korea has agreed to open its annual Pyongyang Marathon to all foreign runners, but those traveling from West African countries once heavily affected by the Ebola epidemic will still be subjected to a 21-day quarantine.

New Jersey-based North Korea travel specialist Uri Tours confirmed their Pyongyang Marathon tour will proceed as planned but also stated in a blog post that those entering North Korea from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire will be subjected to North Korea's 21-day quarantine.

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Beijing-based Koryo Tours said with the end of the Ebola-related travel ban the tour operator plans to take a group into Pyongyang as early as Mar. 14.

The Pyongyang Marathon, officially known as the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon, is named after the designated birthplace of North Korea's founding leader Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current North Korean head-of-state Kim Jong Un.

North Korea began its Ebola-related travel ban on Oct. 24.

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