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Asia > South Korea: Covid-19 and Travel

South Korea

Present Situation

Total cases: 292 699

Active cases: 27 43

Recovered: 262 842

Deaths: 2 427

Vaccination count: 36.6 millions

Current trend: Flattening

Data updated on 2021-09-24

Cumulative coronavirus cases

Summary of the situation

Are the borders open to travellers? Partially Allowed
Is a test required to enter the country?
Health screening and health questionnaire are required for all countries
Are quarantine measures imposed? Sous conditions
Is the country in lockdown? Partiellement
Is wearing a mask mandatory?
Masks are recommended

Provisions for travellers

Entry to the territory: Partially Allowed
Passengers allowed to enter

- Holders of diplomat visa (A-1), government official visa (A-2), agreement visa (A-3), ABTC, APEC CARD, Long-term visa of more than 90 days, overseas Korean visa (F-4), refugee travel document, and travelers re-entering Korea following the departure on or before May 31
[For E-9 visa holders, self-quarantine confirmation is required (Published by the Human Resources Development Service of Korea EPS Center), If no self-quarantine confirmation, not allowed to enter]

- Foreigners staying for a long period of time can re-enter the country after obtaining a re-entry permit when leaving the country after June 1, 2020.
(Deletion of alien registration card when leaving the country without obtaining permission)
※ Exception: Foreigners re-entering Korea after leaving Korea before May 31, 2020, diplomatic (A-1), public service (A-2), agreement (A-3), overseas Koreans (F-4) qualifications and refugees travel document holder

- Suspension of all short-term visas issued before April 5, 2020

COVID-19 negative certificate required

Implementation of K-ETA (As of Sep 1, 2021)

For more details(K-ETA) For more details(K-ETA) https://www.k-eta.go.kr/portal/apply/index.do

Required documents for COVID-19

All Passengers (Including Re-entry foreign nationals) entering Korea must submit a Print PCR test result (Inspection method must be written in Korean or English. If written in other languages, a certified translation must be submitted together) within 72 hours of departure (As of February 24)

- Electronic certificates such as on mobile devices are not accepted.

- Exception: Children under 6 years of age, Transit Passenger, persons subject to exemption from quarantine for humanitarian reasons and purpose of overseas business trips for official duties, Shift seafarer departing from Singapore (with Korean seafarer's book) Korean nationals (with Korean passport)

- Valid PCR test scope : Tests based on gene amplification detection (NAATs, PCR, LAMP, TMA, SDA, NEAR, etc.)

- If you are issued a PCR quarantine document online, be sure to print it out and submit it

- All Passengers departing from the Philippines, Indonesia and Uzbekistan it is necessary to submit a PCR test result issued by an inspection agency designated by an overseas mission

Penalties for passengers who are confirmed positive without submitting a PCR negative confirmation(As of May 10, 2021).

- Penalty : 2,000,000 KRW

- Subject to : Passengers who have been confirmed positive as a result of the COVID 19 test at the quarantine station among Koreans who have not submitted a PCR negative confirmation or submitted a substandard PCR negative confirmation

- Exception : Under the age of 14, etc.

Quarantine Regulations

Quarantine for Korean nationals/Long-Term Foreigners : 14 -day quarantine at residence

Short-term foreign residents: 14-day quarantine (expenses to be paid by passengers)
- Self-quarantine is possible if a family relationship with a long-term foreign residents/Korean is confirmed (within third cousin, direct descendant)

Long-term foreigners/Korean nationals entering from Brazil, Africa, India, self-quarantine after PCR diagnostic test at a temporary living facility upon arrival

14-days Quarantine at a government-designated facilities for long term stay foreign nationals /Korean nationals from Tanzania, South Africa (As of Apr22, 2021)

Family members (lineal ascendants, blood relatives, etc.) of Korean nationals or long-term foreign residents registered in Korea are eligible for self-isolation

Long-term foreigners/Korean nationals departing from Myanmar have a inspection and confirmation of results at temporary living facilities (takes 7 days), Self-isolation 7 days thereafter as of Aug 6, 2021.

For Koreans/long-term foreigners who departed from Chile/Peru, self-quarantine for 7 days after PCR diagnostic test and confirmation of results (7 days) at temporary living facilities(As of Sep 1)

Koreans/foreigners staying for a long time from other countries, self-quarantine (14 days) after PCR diagnostic test at Public health center where you live

Quarantine/isolation procedures when a Korean national who has been vaccinated in Korea enters Korea (if asymptomatic)

- Arrival in Korea → Submit vaccination certificate/PCR negative certificate to the quarantine officer → Pass the examination by the Ministry of Justice → Pick up baggage → Move to residence (no restrictions on using public transportation) → Standby after a *diagnostic test at the local public health center within 1 day (takes 1 day)→ Exemption from quarantine → Visit a public health center on the 6th or 7th day after entering the country and conduct additional diagnostic tests
*Starting from August 30th, additional diagnostic tests will be added within 1 day after entry

- Change of conditions for those who have completed vaccination(As of Aug 30)
In case of leaving Korea after 2 weeks have elapsed after completion of vaccination
In case of entering Korea after 2 weeks have elapsed after completion of vaccination
Example: If the second inoculation date (inoculation completion date) is September 1, Quarantine exemption is possible if the date of entry into Korea is after 00:00 on September 16

Quarantine exemption
- Passengers have completed vaccinations in Korea and re-entered after leaving the country (As of May 5, 2021)
- Passengers have completed vaccination abroad and have entered the country for the following purposes(Quarantine exemption form must be issued in advance/As of Jul1,2021)
[Visiting the immediate family/Important business/Academic public interest/Humanitarian purpose]
Applicable only to those who enter the country two weeks after receiving all the recommended doses for each vaccine in the same country
*Only WHO-approved vaccines are allowed: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna, Covishield, Sinopharm/Sinovac
*If you are entering from a country with a mutated virus, such as South Africa or Brazil etc, you cannot be exempt from quarantine even if you have been vaccinated.
*For the issuance of the quarantine exemption letter, the quarantine exemption application documents, pledge, and vaccination certificate must be submitted to the screening agency (embassy/consulate and relevant ministries)

Tests: Health screening and health questionnaire are required for all countries

Quarantine: Depends
Self-quarantine required for some travelers.

Information updated on 2021-09-20.

Action taken in the country

Lockdown: No
Face masks are compulsory in public places and on public transport. Failure to wear a mask can result in a fine of up to 100,000 Korean Won (£66). There is a limited exception to this rule if you have received at least one vaccine shot, are outside, can maintain at least a 2 metre distance from others, and are outside of Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi.

South Korea currently has a four-level national social distancing scale.

For full details of the current restrictions and requirements you should check the South Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency https://bit.ly/2VELDYT (KDCA) and Ministry of Health and Welfare websites http://ncov.mohw.go.kr/en/ (English). You can find information on any local variations in COVID-19 restrictions and requirements on metropolitan and provincial government websites as follows:

Seoul Metropolitan government (http://english.seoul.go.kr/)
Busan Metropolitan City (https://english.busan.go.kr/index)
Daegu Metropolitan City (http://www.daegu.go.kr/english/index.do)
Incheon Metropolitan City (https://www.incheon.go.kr/en/index)
Gwangju City (https://www.gwangju.go.kr/eng/)
Daejeon Metropolitan City (https://www.daejeon.go.kr/dre/index.do)
Ulsan Metropolitan City (http://www.ulsan.go.kr/english/index)
Sejong City (https://www.sejong.go.kr/eng.do)
North Chungcheong (https://www.chungbuk.go.kr/wwweng/index.do)
South Chungcheong (http://www.chungnam.net/englishMain.do)
Gangwon (http://eng.gwd.go.kr/gw/eng )
Gyeonggi (https://english.gg.go.kr/)
North Gyeongsan (http://www.gb.go.kr/Main/open_contents/section/eng/index.html)
South Gyeongsang (https://www.gyeongnam.go.kr/english/index.gyeong)
North Jeolla (https://www.jeonbuk.go.kr/eng/index.jeonbuk)
South Jeolla (http://www.jeonnam.go.kr/)
Jeju (https://www.jeju.go.kr/corona19.jsp)

Mask use
Masks are recommended

Gatherings: Partially Allowed

Restaurants and bars: Fully Open

Shops: Open

Tourist attractions: Open


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