For those who are planning to come to Korea or are curious about the process of entering Korea during the COVID-19 outbreak, you are in the right place. Korea has recently lifted all mandatory quarantine processes for inbound travelers who have completed vaccinations with some exceptions starting from April 1, 2022. Moreover, the requirement for inbound travelers to submit pre-entry inspections (PCRs, RATs) and negative confirmations will be suspended starting from September 3, 2022. Check out what to expect and prepare for before coming to Korea!
**Please note that the following information can be different in each country and can be modified by the Korean Ministry of Health. Check with your country’s embassy for more accurate information in advance.**
[NEW UPDATES FOR ALL INBOUND TRAVELERS]
- Starting from October 1st, 2022, South Korea will remove a COVID-19 testing requirement for all inbound travelers on the first day of their arrival. Those who show virus symptoms within three days of their arrival can undergo a free PCR test at public health centers across the country.
- Starting from September 3, 2022, all inbound travelers, whether Korean nationals or foreigners, arriving aboard a plane or ship will not have to submit a negative PCR test result.
- You need to take a PCR test within the first 24 hours of your arrival in South Korea.
- It is required to conduct a RAT (Rapid Antigen Test) on the 6th or 7th day following the arrival date. Starting from June 1, the RAT test will be no longer be mandatory but a recommendation.
- Mandatory quarantine is exempted for all visitors (including those who aren’t vaccinated) starting June 8, 2022.
- If you’re infected during your stay in Korea, you’ll need to quarantine for 7 days at your own expense.
▶ Those who completed vaccination outside of Korea refers to an individual who has received the second vaccination* from outside the country as of the date of entrance or who has received the third (booster) vaccination following the second vaccination and can verify the immunization history.
* 14 to 180 days following the second dosage of a vaccine (1st dose for Janssen) that has been approved by WHO
– How to verify: After putting information into the pre-entry system for quarantine information (Q-CODE), check vaccination history using the given QR code.
* Those who have completed overseas vaccination are required to attach a certificate of immunization history to the pre-entry system (Q-CODE).
▶The following nationalities are not exempt from mandatory quarantine: Vietnam, Myanmar, Ukraine
*If you’re from a visa-free country, you can apply for K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization) instead of a visa for short-term visits.
For detailed FAQ regarding the process, please check the official document issued by the Korean government here.
*Please disregard the following procedure as it explains about the quarantine process.
Procedures of Quarantine in Korea
Step 1. Submit a Form of Agreement to Korea’s Quarantine Measures
Before boarding the plane, you will receive guidelines on the quarantine measures you have to follow in Korea. Also, you must submit a form that you agree to quarantine in an isolation center designated by the Korean government. Of course, all international and domestic passengers must wear a mask. If you need disposable KF94 masks, you can order the international shipping of your masks here.
Step 2. Undergo Temperature Check & Fill Out a Questionnaire & Install the App
After getting through customs and baggage claim upon arrival, you will undergo a temperature check and fill out a questionnaire. If you are suspected of experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you will take the test at the airport. Please note that the sequence of this procedure can be changed according to the on-site situation.
Also, you must download the app ‘Self-Quarantine Safety and Protection’ on Google Play Store or the iOS App Store, which is available in Korean, English, and Chinese. You will use this app to update your health status twice a day during self-quarantine. The purpose of this app is to enable the Korean government to ensure you are following quarantine rules.
In order to verify your local contact number and download the app, book a prepaid Korea SIM card that you can pick up at Incheon Airport Terminal 1 within the quarantine inspection area. If you want to get your Korean SIM card and your Korean phone number before arriving in Korea, simply order an international delivery service!
Step 3. Head to the Quarantine Facility
Those with a short-term visa of under 90 days must be quarantined at a government-designated facility for 7 days. Those with a long-term visa can self-quarantine at home or a local accommodation for 7 days unless the place of residence is not judged as suitable by the Korean authorities.
Government-designated facilities include 12 lodging facilities near Incheon International Airport. The COVID-19 tests are free, but staying at a facility costs 120,000KRW per day, which will be randomly assigned and cannot be changed for personal reasons.
If you’re looking for a convenient and quality self-quarantine room (facility), also consider Trazy’s self-quarantine room booking service in Korea. There are three options: all-inclusive hotel/residence room rental (with meals & private transfer services), room rental only in Seoul/Incheon/Gyeonggi-do area, fully packaged hostel room in Seoul with meal options.
If no symptoms are detected at Incheon Airport, you can either go by private car, designated taxi, or shuttle to your place for self-quarantine. Using your own cars for transportation is highly suggested, but if that’s difficult you can use an Airport Limousine Bus exclusively for arrivals from abroad. You can also book an airport taxi in advance that provides a 24-hour transfer service to Seoul. If your destination is in Gyeonggi-do Province instead of Seoul, simply book an airport taxi to Suwon, Pyeongtaek, Bundang, Goyang, Hwaseong, Dongtan, Gunsan, or Hanam!
All vehicles are sanitized every day and equipped with partitions. Moreover, all customer touchpoints are frequently cleaned and hand sanitizer is available to use anytime.
Step 4. Start Your 7-Day of Self-Quarantine!
If you are in Korea without a fixed residence, you will quarantine at a designated government facility. Once you arrive you will be led to booths for more paperwork, instructions, and payment. Your meals will be delivered promptly at 8am, 12pm, and 6pm in front of your door. If you want to check out the smooth process and journey of going on self-quarantine in Korea, read this Forbes article by an American university student who visited Seoul for an internship.
Everyone has to undergo COVID-19 testing within 1 day after arriving in Korea, regardless of their symptoms. If you have a fixed residence in Korea, you have to visit a nearby public health center and take a test. Also, the additional COVID-19 test has to be taken before completing your 7-day of self-quarantine.
In order to proceed to a COVID-19 test at the nearest health center within 3 days, the usage of public transportation is not allowed. Instead, you can book a safe private round-trip transfer service to the health center for COVID-19 testing on Trazy! The driver will wait for you until you finish your test and take you back to your place. All vehicles are sanitized thoroughly every day and a partition is set up between the driver and passenger.
Must-Read Trazy Blogs on COVID-19 in Korea!
- The Ultimate Self-Quarantine Package in Korea
- Guidance on Social Distancing for Foreigners in Korea
- 5 Ways to Stay Safe in Korea During COVID-19 Outbreak
Hope this blog was helpful for you to find out what to expect when entering Korea. Also, don’t forget to check out the latest & trendiest things to do in Korea after you complete your self-quarantine on Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop!