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South Korea Covid-19 Entry Requirements Travelers Need To Know

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From kimchi to barbecue, K-Pop to fashion, there seems to be no end to Korea’s cultural impact around the world. Whilst just a year ago millions of foreign tourists flocked to its shores to sample its stunning scenery and culinary delights, the pandemic has grinded tourism in the country to a halt, leaving businesses and travelers in the lurch. Here are the latest COVID-19 entry requirements you need to know if you’re planning a trip to South Korea.

south korea mask travel

Countries Allowed To Visit South Korea

Like most countries in the region, South Korea has enforced strict border control policies that make entry into the country more difficult than usual. Korea’s visa exemption entry route has been suspended for 90 countries.

Despite the South Korean government strongly discouraging non-essential travel, citizens of many countries are still permitted to enter, such as citizens of the USA and the UK. However, they may be denied entry depending on their recent travel history. More information can be found here.

korea airport travel tourists masks

Travel Authorization To Visit South Korea

There is no uniform form to fill out prior to travel to South Korea. However, depending on your nationality, you may have to submit some documents. For further information, please find your nationality on this guide and read through the entry requirements. Failure to arrive without the proper documentation may see you denied entry to the country.

South Korea's COVID-19 Testing Entry Requirements

The Covid-19 testing entry requirements for Korea vary from country to country. For most countries, a test prior to arrival in Korea is not necessary.

All those who wish to enter South Korea – regardless of nationality – must undergo a test for Covid-19 upon arrival prior to heading to their quarantine location.

Quarantine Entry Requirements For South Korea

Every nationality that arrives in South Korea is subject to the 14-day quarantine, regardless of the results of the test upon arrival. This will be at a designated quarantine facility for most foreign arrivals, thought those who are long-term visa holders or family members of Korean citizens may perform their mandatory 14-day isolation at their own residence.

Exceptions to quarantine are extremely limited, and are reserved for those invited to attend business meetings and conferences by Korean companies, and for those visiting on humanitarian grounds.

COVID-19 Travel Insurance Entry Requirements

There is no mandate by the Korean government for travelers to have insurance prior to arrival. Travel Off Path recommends all travelers have proper insurance that covers COVID-19.

COVID-19 Health Requirements While in South Korea

The wearing of masks is mandatory in many types of venue, such as medical centers, bars and arcades, and flouting the rules carries a fine of 100,000 Korean won. Those below the age of 14 and with recognized medical conditions are exempt from the wearing of masks.

COVID-19 Vaccine Entry Requirements

A vaccine for COVID-19 is not yet available to the public. South Korea has not announced any mandates on a proof of vaccine record (POVR) or an international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis (ICVP) for entry

Covid-19 Vaccine Likely To Be Required For International Travel

Visa Entry Requirements For South Korea During COVID-19

All short-term visas issued before April 5th 2020 have been suspended. Those wishing to enter Korea must apply for a new visa. Those who have a re-entry permit issued after June 1st 2020 must present a medical certificate at most 48-hours from departure that shows a negative Covid-19 PCR test result or indicates symptoms of the virus. This may be in English or Korean.

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Published November 29th, 2020.

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Tuesday 27th of April 2021

What’s the point of testing, if you have to quarantine for 2 weeks, anyway? I swear, this fear mongering is really annoying and affecting my life. I’m sick of it and I’m sick of everyone in society, blinding following along.


Sunday 29th of November 2020

The testing portion of this article is contradictory. One part says it’s not mandatory for most countries and then right under it, it says that everyone has to test, regardless of where they’re coming from.

Trevor Kucheran

Sunday 29th of November 2020

The first paragraph is regarding tests 'prior to arrival'. The second paragraph states that all passengers will be tested 'on arrival'

Carlos Rivera

Sunday 29th of November 2020

Thanks, Kyle Holme to keep us informed 👍.