COVID-19 travel restrictions: South Korea

Travel Restrictions

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This article has been written on the April 22, 2022 and contains accurate information. However, we highly recommend you check the latest travel requirements before you book a trip since covid regulations are constantly updating.

Can I enter South Korea?

You can enter South Korea if you have all the standard documents and an entry visa. Nevertheless, please note that there are specific COVID-19 regulations in place, together with visa requirements. 

Myeongdong street market at Seoul, South Korea — ShutterstockThe Myeongdong shopping street in Seoul — Shutterstock

Can I enter South Korea if I am vaccinated?

You can enter South Korea if you are vaccinated. At present, there are five vaccine drugs approved in South Korea:

  • Novavax (Nuvaxovid)
  • Moderna (Spikevax)
  • Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) 
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria)

Travel documents if I am vaccinated

If you are vaccinated, you have to present all the documents:

  • A vaccination certificate
  • A negative PCR test result no more than 48 hours old
  • Travel insurance with a minimum coverage of 30 million won (ca. $25,000) for COVID-19 related medical/treatment expenses and (not applicable for Korean nationals, long-term visa holders and exempted groups)

Can I enter South Korea if I am unvaccinated?

You can enter South Korea if you are unvaccinated. However, there are tight restrictions for unvaccinated individuals inside the country. 

Travel documents if I am unvaccinated

If you are unvaccinated, you have to present all the documents:

  • Travel insurance with a minimum coverage of 30 million won (ca. $25,000) for COVID-19 related medical/treatment expenses and (not applicable for Korean nationals, long-term visa holders, and exempted groups)
  • A negative PCR test result no more than 48 hours old

Who cannot enter South Korea?

As of March 2022, South Korea does not ban any countries due to COVID-19 risks. However, double-check whether you have permission to travel (typically, a visa) before you travel. Usually, these visas are:

  • K-ETA (Korea Electronic Travel Authorization)
  • C-3-1 Humanitarian Visa for Visiting Korean Family) 
  • ​C-3-1 Humanitarian Visa for Visiting Family (ARC) 
  • C-3-1 General Visa (Conference, Competition, Training, etc.)
  • C-3-4 Short-Term Business Visa
  • C-3-9 Short-Term Tourism Visa 
  • C-4-5 Short-Term Employment(Working) Visa
  • D-2 Student Visa (Full-time degree / Exchange Program)
  • D-4-1 Korean Language Training Visa
  • F-4 Overseas Korea Visa 
  • F-6 Spouse of Korean National Visa 

Can I leave South Korea?

You can leave South Korea. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health stresses that no travel is safe during COVID-19.

Can I leave South Korea if I am vaccinated?

Vaccinated travelers can leave South Korea.

Travel documents if I am vaccinated

  • A certificate of full vaccination against COVID-19 in paper or electronic format

Please make sure to learn the requirements about presenting a negative COVID-19 test result of your destination country in advance. 

Can I leave South Korea if I am unvaccinated?

Unvaccinated foreign travelers can leave South Korea. 

Travel documents if I am unvaccinated

  • A certificate of recovery from COVID-19 (no more than 180 days old before the day of crossing the border of a particular country)
  • A negative COVID-19 test result (the relevant period and kind of test may vary, please check the requirements of the destination country)

COVID-19 situation in South Korea currently

Compared to the previous months, the COVID-19 situation in South Korea is safe as of March 2022 due to vaccination programs and local regulations.

Old Korean architectural art on a public place in Yeosu, South Korea — ShutterstockSouth Korea is a stunning, cultured nation to explore — Shutterstock

FAQs

Is it safe to travel to South Korea right now?

International travel to South Korea is currently safe. Please, follow the basic COVID-19 regulations:

  • Wear masks indoors 
  • Keep a social distance
  • Mind that unvaccinated people are mostly banned from visiting public places (even big supermarkets)

Is Seoul open for travel?

Currently, Seoul is open to travelers. COVID-19 restrictions in the capital are the same as in the rest of the country.

Do I have to quarantine if I go to South Korea?

Yes, most travelers must undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine in a specially designated facility. The facility is assigned randomly and can not be changed for personal reasons. 

Certain travelers are exempt from quarantine:

  • A-1, A-2, and A-3 visa holders with negative test results from COVID-19 diagnostic testing 
  • Travelers who enter Korea via Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) from Singapore
  • Travelers who have a Quarantine Exemption Certificate issued for important business, academic, public interest, official purposes and attendance of funeral

Regardless of quarantine requirements, all inbound travelers have to get tested within 14 days of their arrival in South Korea. 

How do I get a health pass to travel to South Korea? 

Together with printed-out copies of the documents mentioned above, you will need to install one of the following applications:

  • Self-Quarantine Safety Protection App (for Korean nationals and long-term residents of Korea)
  • Self-Check App (for short-term visitors, VTL travelers, A-1, A-2, A-3 visa and a Quarantine Exemption Certificate holders 

What are the biggest international airports in South Korea? 

Here is a list of the biggest international airports in South Korea:

Useful link:

Visit our Travel Restriction section at Kiwi.com Stories to read more travel restrictions articles