For those who are planning to come to Korea or curious about the process of entering Korea during the COVID-19 outbreak, you are in the right place. It is currently mandatory for all incoming Korean and foreign nationals to complete 14-day quarantine upon entry to Korea. Check out what to expect and prepare 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]
- Please note that it is mandatory for all inbound travelers coming to Korea, including Korean & foreign nationals, to undergo three separate polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for COVID19 from February 24th, 2021.
- First, everyone is required to undergo a PCR test within 72 hours prior to their departure to Korea and must submit a negative test result during the screening process at the airport in Korea.
- Second, everyone should take another PCR test at a local health center within one day after their arrival in Korea.
- The final test will be conducted before they are released from 14 days of self-quarantine in Korea.
[NEW UPDATES REGARDING QUARANTINE EXEMPTIONS]
- Since May 5th, 2021, Korean and foreigners who are fully vaccinated in Korea (2 weeks after the last shot) get a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival can be exempted from quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms for 14 days instead.
- From July 1st, 2021, those who are fully vaccinated abroad can apply for a quarantine exception after they enter Korea, however, there are many conditions to meet in order to get an exemption.
- Applicants should receive one of the following vaccines 2 weeks before entering Korea: Pfizer, Janssen, Moderna, AZ, CovidShield, Sinopharm, Sinovac.
- Applicants from the following countries that are affected by a variant are excluded: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Paraguay, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.
- The purpose of the travel in Korea should be one of the following: important business, academic, humanitarian & public official visits, visit to direct family or funeral.
- Business purpose is possible for those with one of the following visas: B1, B2, C1, C3, C4, D7, D8, D9, F4, F5, F6, E7.
- Family purpose is possible for those who visit their family (descendants or descendants) in Korea. Visited families must be Koreans or foreigners with long-term visas. The family relationship should be confirmed by the Korean embassies through Korean official documents, which are issued by a competent foreign authority within the last 90 days from the date of applications are accepted.
- Applicants should arrive in Korea within 1 month after they receive the quarantine exception letter.
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 testings 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 without a fixed residence in Korea and with a short-term visa of under 90 days must be quarantined at a government-designated facility for 14 days. Those with a fixed residence in Korea and a long-term visa must self-quarantine at home for 14 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 KRW 2,100,000 (Approx. USD 1911) per person.
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 room rental (with meals & private transfer services), room rental only in Seoul, and room rental only outside of Seoul.
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 14-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 three days 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 14-day of self-quarantine. The below countries are exempted to take the additional test:
*China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia
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.
Check out Trazy’s ultimate quarantine care packages that provide everything you need during your quarantine, from food delivery service, online grocery delivery service, meal kit delivery service, to proxy shopping!
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!