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

This page was last updated on 25 February, 2021.

 

At a Glance

Travel Restrictions

Tourist Entry: Partially Allowed
Testing: Health screening and health questionnaire are required for all countries
Quarantine Required: Yes
Quarantine Details: Self-quarantine for 14 days required for all countries

Local Restrictions

Lockdown in Effect: No
Events: Partially Allowed
Transport: Operational
Shopping: Open
Restaurants and Bars: Fully Open
 

Detailed Travel Advisory

Published 15.02.2021
1. Short-term visas (type C-1 and C-3) issued on or before 5 April are no longer valid.
2. Suspension of visa exemptions for nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Eswatini (Swaziland), Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Marshall Isl., Mauritius, Micronesia (Federated States), Montenegro, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russian Fed., Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Isl., South Africa, Spain, St. Lucia, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates or Uruguay with a normal passport.
– This does not apply to airline crew.
– This does not apply to passengers with an APEC Business Travel Card.
– This does not apply to passengers with a diplomatic, an official or a service passport.
3. Suspension of visa exemptions for nationals of Japan.
4. Suspension of visa exemptions for passengers with a Chinese Taipei (on the cover: Republic of China Taiwan) normal passport.
5. Suspension of visa exemptions for passengers with a Hong Kong (SAR China) passport.
6. Suspension of visa exemptions for passengers with a Macao (SAR China) passport.
7. Passengers are subject to quarantine for 14 days and to a PCR test for Coronavirus (COVID-19) within 3 days after arrival.
– This does not apply to passengers with an Isolation Exemption Certificate issued by a Korean Embassy or Consulate before departure. They must be tested on Coronavirus (COVID-19) upon arrival and stay at designated quarantine facilities for 1 or 2 days until a negative test result is obtained.
8. A completed Health Declaration Form and a Travel Record Declaration must be presented to the quarantine desk upon arrival.
9. All flights must arrive at Incheon International Airport (ICN) between 05:00 and 20:00.
10. Passengers are not allowed to transit through Korea (Rep.) for more than 24 hours.
11. Nationals of Mongolia are not allowed to transit if they depart from Mongolia or travel onward to Mongolia.
– This does not apply to airline crew.
12. Nationals of Thailand are not allowed to transit if they are traveling onward to Thailand.
– This does not apply to nationals of Thailand with a Certificate of Entry issued by Royal Thai Embassy and a Fit to Fly health certificate in English issued at most 72 hours before departure.
– This does not apply to airline crew.
13. Nationals of Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are not allowed to transit through Korea (Rep.).
– This does not apply to nationals of Egypt with a diplomatic or service passport.
14. Passengers with a visa on an expired passport must present a printed “Visa Grant Notice” and the expired passport to the immigration upon arrival.
15. Passengers with an E-9 visa issued by Korea (Rep.) must present a completed ’Confirmation of Self-quarantine’ form upon arrival. The form can be obtained at the local EPS center.
16. Passengers must have a printed medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point. The certificate must be in English, Korean or accompanied by a certified English or Korean translation. The certificate must have the name of the passenger which must match the name in the passport, the date of birth and a signature or stamp of the issuing laboratory. Passengers arriving from Nepal or Philippines must have a certificate issued by an approved laboratory and details can be found at the Korean (Rep.) Embassy website in those countries.
– This does not apply to:
– nationals of Korea (Rep.);
– passengers who are 5 years or younger.
17. Effective 22 February 2021 until 23 February 2021, nationals of Korea (Rep.) arriving from Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Rep., Chad, Comoros, Congo (Dem. Rep.), Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia or Zimbabwe without a printed medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point are subject to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.
– This does not apply to passengers who are 5 years or younger.
18. Until 23 February 2021, nationals of Korea (Rep.) arriving from Brazil, South Africa or United Kingdom without a printed medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point are subject to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.
– This does not apply to passengers who are 5 years or younger.
19. Effective 24 February 2021, nationals of Korea (Rep.) without a printed medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test result issued at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point are subject to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.
– This does not apply to passengers who are 5 years or younger.

 

Detailed Tourist Information

South Korean diplomatic missions in the UK have suspended the issuing of visas from 29 December 2020. Exceptions to this will only be made in limited circumstances e.g. for diplomatic purposes .

From 1 January 2021, all arrivals entering South Korea from the UK will be required to provide a negative PCR test declaration, issued within 48 hours of departure.

From 8 January 2021, all foreign nationals arriving in South Korea by air will be required to provide a negative PCR test declaration, issued within 48 hours of departure. The same requirement will apply from 15 January 2021 to all foreign nationals arriving in South Korea by sea. Further information is available in the KDCA press release (http://www.kdca.go.kr/board/board.es?mid=a30402000000&bid=0030)

All arrivals – regardless of nationality and length of stay – are also required to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) after entering South Korea. Arrivals will be taken for testing and must remain at the testing facility until a negative result has been secured. All must then begin quarantine for 14 days. Anyone who tests positive will be isolated and treated at a hospital or community treatment centre. For those not showing symptoms on arrival, Korean nationals, and long term foreign visitors with an Alien Registration Card and Korean residence, may self-quarantine at home for 14 days.

All other foreign short-term travellers must quarantine at a government-designated facility for 14 days. Individuals are required to pay a daily charge of around 100,000KRW (approximately £66) while in government quarantine facilities.

 

Lockdown Details

The KCDC strongly recommends that all non-essential social gatherings or events continue to remain suspended.

The social distance restrictions in Seoul are beginning to relax after a drop in cases.

South Korean authorities have announced a ban on year-end parties.

Most low-risk businesses have been allowed to resume.

Nightclubs and spectator sports events are set to reopen with restrictions in place.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced a plan to provide free face masks to foreigners in South Korea. Beginning April 6 foreign nationals can show a passport or alien registration card and receive masks and filters at eight metropolitan locations: Seoul Global Center, Southwest Seoul Global Center, Seongdong Global Migrant Center, Seongbuk Global Migrant Center, Eunpyeong Global Migrant Center, Yangcheon Global Migrant Center, Geumcheon Global Migrant Center and Guangdong Global Migrant Center.

People will now be fined for not wearing face masks.
 

Sources

https://kr.usembassy.gov/022420-covid-19-information/
Data Source: covidcontrols.co