Though the Covid situation is restricting traveling, we are fortunate to be able to deliver new systems around the world. In this article, we interview Matti Aula who was just in South Korea installing a new ArcSpec system.
What kind of procedures you had to go through when you traveled from Finland to South Korea?
A lot of things needed to be prepared before traveling abroad these days. Acquiring the working visa was certainly the most time-consuming task. Normal visa practices were not in use during this COVID19 situation, and I had to prepare a quite lot of paperwork. In addition to documentation about Luxmet, the customer, the project, the hardware, etc. we had to also to deliver negative coronavirus tests to get the permit to enter the country.
Also, following the flight statuses was necessary since they were delayed and canceled on very short notice. Our first flight was canceled but we accomplished to book another one without any larger issues.
How was your arrival to the country?
At the airport, the passenger control was pretty strict. Very first when we arrived at the airport there was a screening of the symptoms and other health issues. Also, all the documentation (negative corona test, visa papers, etc.) was checked to enter the airport.
Secondly, everybody had to install an application on their mobile phones that tracked the quarantine. Government officials checked our phones and that we actually installed the quarantine application and interviewed us about emergency contacts etc. After which the customs official checked pretty much the same things again.
After the check-in, we were guided to quarantine with tight security inside of the airport. There were several police officers to see that everybody would stay in the quarantine area. Later on, we were escorted to the hotel where I spent most of my quarantine. Two weeks altogether. All in all, the procedures were very strict but well handled. Like they should be.
How did you spend your time in quarantine?
During the whole two weeks, nobody was allowed to exit from the hotel room. The only thing that was permitted was to received food from in front of the hotel room’s door. Two weeks in a single apartment is a long time but it made it easier to withstand the time that I was mentally prepared for the quarantine. Of course, the Internet connection helped a lot too!
One important thing in the quarantine was to get enough amount of exercise. When you spend time in a small room you cannot do the small acts of everyday life that are meant as exercise like walking to the grocery store and taking the stairs etc. and it starts to affect your shape quickly. So, I had to do some basic exercises once a day during the quarantine.
How did the installation go?
The installation went quite well! We had bit a of a hurry but otherwise, we did not have any problems. We must use strong dust filter masks during the installation, in any case, so we were very well protected against the virus. Corona caused surprisingly few problems to the installation itself. Usually, things go well when you plan and document the activities well beforehand!
Did the installation need some special planning?
The Covid situation caused a bit of extra planning with the quarantines and such but otherwise, the installation itself followed our standard installation procedures.
What do you think, how easy it is to deliver ArcSpec systems in this current situation?
It is not particularly easy to deliver ArcSpec currently but is definitely possible. The biggest challenge is that in order to travel very lengthy quarantine has to be taken into account when planning the delivery. However, this issue should be relieved when we get the vaccinations. Of course, we must take into account the covid restrictions and ensure safe operations but all in all, we are very well prepared to deliver the ArcSpec system worldwide despite the corona situation.
How did you like South Korea otherwise?
I think they had managed the corona situation pretty well. Almost everybody used the masks in every situation and things seemed to be normalized life pretty well taking into account the current situation. Corona did not affect the daily basic activities after quarantine.
One thing that surprised me was that there were a quite lot of forests in South Korea. Nature was really beautiful. A lot of hills and forests which I liked very much.