South Korea (Travel Restrictions, COVID Tests & Quarantine Requirements)

This page was updated on 21 May 2022.

Is South Korea open for visitors?

Yes, South Korea is open to visitors. International travel to South Korea is permitted for those with a valid entry permit or visa. It is necessary to comply with requirements to ensure entry is allowed.

Furthermore, Visa-free and visa-waiver programs have been suspended due to COVID-19. Entry is now only allowed for holders of a valid Korean visa, including ‘K-ETA’ for eligible travellers.

Please visit https://www.visa.go.kr/ for more details.

Is South Korea open to international tourism?

Yes, South Korea is now fully open to international visitors, with certain conditions and requirements that have to be met before entering the country. International travel to South Korea is permitted for those with a valid entry permit or visa. It is necessary to comply with requirements to ensure entry is allowed.

Furthermore, Visa-free and visa-waiver programs have been suspended due to COVID-19. Entry is now only allowed for holders of a valid Korean visa, including ‘K-ETA’ for eligible travelers. You can find out more information about the ‘K-ETA’ eligibility from the K-ETA website.

Please note that effective 1 June 2022, International travellers may be allowed to enter Jeju and Yangyang visa-free.

Visit https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/AKR/FU_EN_15.jsp?cid=2818913 for further details on visa-waiver eligibility.

What are South Korea’s vaccine requirements?

Vaccination is not mandatory for travellers entering South Korea. However, fully vaccinated individuals, who present a vaccination certificate are exempt from quarantine requirements. The vaccine certificate must be issued with a QR code.

Fully vaccinated individuals are those who have received two doses (one dosage for Janssen) of the WHO-approved emergency COVID-19 vaccine, have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before departure and not more than 6 months (180 days), or have received a booster shot (third dosage).

South Korea-approved vaccines are as follows:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • CanSino
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Covaxin
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac
  • Covovax
  • Covishield

The following vaccination certificate rules will be applicable depending on the Airport the traveller is entering from:

Entering Korea through Incheon International Airport

  • Visit the Q-code website and register your personal information and vaccination certificate on the Q-code System.
  • The certificate must be in Korean or English; if the certificate is in a different language, a Korean translation and an apostille must be submitted to the Immigration Officer.

Entering Korea through other airports or seaports

  • Prepare all the necessary documents in print, including your vaccination certificate
  • Required information on the certificate: name, birthday, vaccine type, vaccinated date, name of clinic/vaccination center, official seal of the administered center or the public health authority
  • The certificate must be in Korean or English; if the certificate is in a different language, a Korean translation and an apostille are required to be acceptable

Visit https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TRV/TV_ENG_1_COVID.jsp for more details.

What are South Korea’s entry requirements?

Documents required

Upon arrival at the airport, all travellers must proceed to check their temperature and submit the following documents at the quarantine checkpoint:

  • Negative COVID-19 PCR Test Result Certificate.
  • Health Questionnaire & Travel Record Declaration
  • Passport

Additional required documents for those who apply

  • Quarantine Exemption Certificate
  • Vaccination Certificate (Proof of Vaccination)

Please note that all documents above can be registered in advance via Q-code. Furthermore, Q-code applicants can use their pre-issued QR code instead of submitting printed documents. However, the documents may be requested for verification so it is recommended have them ready at hand.

Testing requirements

All travellers to South Korea will have to go through the following testing procedures:

  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within the previous 48 hours, must be provided on departure. This document must be written in Korean or English, or be accompanied by a Korean or English translation, and travellers must carry a printed copy with them. The accepted tests include PCR, RT-PCR, LAMP, TMA, SDA, and NEAR; or
  • Travellers may instead provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. This will require proof of a positive PCR test result, issued at least ten (10) days and not more than forty (40) days before arrival.
  • A PCR test will be administered on arrival. The test can be pre-booked from the Safe2GO pass website.
  • Travellers will be administered a Rapid Antigen test six (6) to seven (7) days after arrival, at a public health center. This does not apply to those staying less than eight (8) days in South Korea.
  • All passengers are subject to health screening on arrival, including temperature checks and visual assessment. Further health testing may be required for those displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

Please note that starting 1 June 2022, some changes will be brought regarding the testing requirements including:

  • A PCR test will be administered three (3) days after arrival, and the travellers will be administered a Rapid Antigen test six (6) to seven (7) days after arrival, at a public health center. This does not apply to those staying less than eight (8) days in South Korea.

Quarantine requirements

Fully vaccinated individuals, who have received two doses (one dosage for Janssen) of the WHO-approved emergency COVID-19 vaccine, have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days before departure and not more than six (6) months (180 days), or have received a booster shot (third dosage), and present a vaccination certificate are exempt from quarantine requirements. The vaccine certificate must be issued with a QR code.

Unvaccinated travellers are required to undergo self-quarantine for seven (7) days on arrival at a government-approved accommodation, for a cost of 1.05 million KRW (USD 824.34). However, Korean nationals and long-term residents can complete the quarantine period at a private residence.

Please note that travellers of 6 years and under with a vaccinated guardian are exempt from quarantine. Effective 1 June 2022, the exemption age will change to 12 years and under, and travellers aged 12 and under with a vaccinated guardian will be exempt from quarantine.

Quarantine-exempted visitors are advised to closely observe their health condition for at least seven (7) days. If you suspect any signs of COVID-19 while visiting Korea, visit the closest medical clinic immediately, or call 1330 for assistance in finding a clinic near you.

Asymptomatic Quarantine Exemption Certificate holder

The following rules will be applicable to Asymptomatic Quarantine Exemption Certificate Holders:

  • If eligible (under humanitarian reasons, business/academic purposes, or public interest), individuals travelling from countries excluded from quarantine exemption may apply for a Quarantine Exemption Certificate and be exempt from the mandatory quarantine.
  • Quarantine Exemption Certificate holders must take a PCR test on the day of arrival at a temporary quarantine facility. Quarantine is exempted upon confirming a negative test result.
  • Quarantine Exemption Certificate holders must take a follow-up Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on Day 6 or 7 after their arrival. To perform a RAT, visitors can either use a self-test kit or visit a nearby medical clinic.

Visit https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TRV/TV_ENG_1_COVID.jsp for more details.

Additional entry requirements

All travellers to South Korea must complete and present a ‘Consent for isolation’ form prior to boarding.

Furthermore, vaccinated travellers are required to enter their vaccination records to the ‘Quarantine information pre-entry system’ before departure and the QR code generated must be presented on arrival.

Visit https://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TRV/TV_ENG_1_COVID.jsp for more details.