En De
Total doses
given
128.5M
People fully
vaccinated
44.7M
% Fully
vaccinated
86.17%
Masks
Passengers must wear a mask in the airport and during their flight
COVID-19 test
Passengers aged 6 years and older must hold a negative RT-PCR, LAMP, NAAT, TMA, SDA or NEAR test certificate conducted no more than 2 days (based on the date of sample tested) prior to departure or a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) result conducted at a hospital or a clinic no more than 1 day prior to departure.
Quarantine
May be required for passengers who test positive on arrival
Passenger Locator Form
Passengers must download the Self-quarantine Safety Protection App onto their phones
Health form
A Health Declaration form must be completed prior to arrival.
Vaccination
Not required
Insurance
Not required
Insurance
Not required
Pre-travel testing (vaccinated):
Pre-travel testing (unvaccinated):
Test on arrival (vaccinated):
Test on arrival (unvaccinated):

Full Restrictions:

22.07.2022

All travellers

Covid-19 Testing and Q-Code

On arrival in South Korea, you need to provide a negative COVID-19 test certificate and submit a questionnaire on your health condition. The South Korean government encourages all arrivals to log this information in the Quarantine COVID19 Defence (Q-Code) system prior to travel. Paper-based alternatives can be used instead but may result in a slower arrivals process.

All foreign nationals arriving in South Korea are required to provide a negative COVID test certificate (with some exceptions – see ‘Exemptions’ below). Travellers must carry with them a paper copy of their certificate and can also upload their certificate via the Q-Code system. PCR tests (RT-PCR, LAMP, TMA, SDA, and NEAR DNA amplification-based tests are also valid) must have been taken within the 48 hours prior to departure. A supervised Rapid Antigen Test (RAT, generally known inside the UK as a lateral flow test) issued by a hospital or clinic within the 24 hours prior to departure will also be accepted. Please note that self-administered tests (including remote supervised tests conducted through a virtual/tele appointment) are not accepted. You should review the detailed information on the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in London website.

All arrivals, including children aged 5 and younger, and regardless of nationality and length of stay, are also required to take a PCR test within 24 hours of entering South Korea (as of 25 July 2022). You can reserve an appointment for a test on arrival at Incheon Airport through the Airport Clinic’s website or take a test at a medical institution near your accommodation or residence. Foreign short-term travellers must pay for their test while Korean citizens and long-term visa-holders may visit a local public health centre to take a test for free. Arrivals are encouraged to log the result of their arrival PCR test in the Quarantine COVID19 Defence (Q-Code) system, even if they did not use the Q-Code system to demonstrate their COVID-19 status on arrival. If you choose not to log your result in the Q-Code system, you may be contacted by the Korean health authorities and asked for your test result. You must remain in your accommodation or residence until you have received a negative PCR test result.

If your test is positive, you must comply with self-quarantine and treatment instructions issued by the Korean authorities. You will be required to stay at a quarantine centre for 7 days (if you are a short-term visitor) or to isolate at home (if you are a long-term resident and if your accommodation meets certain standards). You will not need to take another PCR test at the end of your quarantine. For more information contact the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on 1339 from inside South Korea (support is available in English).

Quarantine requirements

There is no quarantine requirement for entry to South Korea, but as noted above you must remain in your accommodation or residence until you have received a negative result on your post-arrival PCR test.

Data collection

Make sure you have with you a mobile telephone with the roaming function enabled, and/or the telephone number of a friend, relative or contact who can update the authorities on your state of health, if required. A hotel telephone number will not be accepted.

If you’re fully vaccinated

There are no special provisions for vaccinated individuals. Vaccinated travellers should follow the rules for ‘All travellers’ above.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

There are no special provisions for unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated travellers should follow the rules for ‘All travellers’ above.

If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past year

If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, you will still need to receive a negative PCR or supervised RAT (lateral flow test) result as described in ‘COVID-19 Testing’ above before you are able to fly to South Korea. You should bring with you an official note from your doctor detailing when you tested positive, what treatment you received and/or what isolation you observed. If you test positive or inconclusive on arrival, Korean officials will consider this information when deciding how to proceed. Some British Nationals have tested negative in the UK and then tested positive on arrival in South Korea. Korean health officials have broad discretion in deciding what precautions are required and you may be required to quarantine even if you are no longer testing positive.

Long-term foreign residents of Korea who recently tested positive for COVID-19 in Korea are exempt from providing a negative pre-departure test when entering Korea between 10 and 40 days after their positive test result. You will not be eligible for this exemption if your positive COVID-19 test was less than 10 or more than 40 days ago, if you tested positive for COVID-19 outside of Korea, or if you have COVID-19 symptoms. See the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in London for more details.

Otherwise, there are no special provisions for individuals who have had COVID-19 in the past year. You should follow the rules for ‘All travellers’ above.

Children and young people

Children aged 17 and under can follow the rules for ‘All travellers’ to enter South Korea.

There are some exceptions to the requirement for children to present a pre-departure PCR test on arrival – see ‘Exemptions from pre-departure COVID-19 tests’ below. Parents should note that young children are required to take a PCR test within 24 hours of arriving in South Korea, in line with the rules for adults.

If you’re transiting through South Korea

Transiting is when you pass through one country on the way to your final destination.

All transit passengers receive a temperature check on arrival in Korea. Symptomatic individuals will be subject to a COVID-19 test and hospitalisation if found positive. Passengers who do not show symptoms and/or test negative may continue their journey.

Transit passengers at Seoul Incheon Airport require a ticket/boarding pass for their onward flight to their final destination. They should confirm with the airline(s) before departure that their bags have been checked through to their final destination (as transit passengers are not able to collect and re-check in baggage on arrival in Incheon Airport).

Transit hotels are available in both Terminals 1 and 2 at Incheon Airport. Layovers in South Korea (i.e. passing through immigration to enter South Korea during a long gap between flights) are possible but you will need to satisfy the regular entry requirements.

Exemptions

Exemptions from pre-departure COVID-19 tests

Children aged five and under are not required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test or provide a negative PCR test certificate on arrival in South Korea. They do, however, still need to take a test on arrival (see ‘Children and young people’ above).

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Passport validity

For those entering South Korea with a long-term visa, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into South Korea. For short-term visitors applying for a Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) to enter South Korea without a visa (see ‘Visas and K-ETA’ below), there is no requirement for a minimum period of passport validity. However, your passport should be valid for the duration of your entire stay in South Korea.

All foreigners living in South Korea are required to report any changes in their passport information (such as when receiving a new passport) either online using the Korean Immigration Office website or by visiting a local immigration office in South Korea. For further information, call the Korean Immigration Contact Centre (Tel: +82 1345).

Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

Visas and K-ETA

If you have a British Citizen passport you can enter South Korea as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa. You must also have an onward or return ticket. It’s illegal to work on a tourist visa, whether as a teacher or in any other capacity.

You must be in possession of a Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA) to enter Korea visa-free. You should apply for the K-ETA at least 72 hours before boarding your flight and it will be valid for two years from the date of approval. There is a small, non-refundable charge. Visit the official K-ETA website for more information and to apply.

If you have a different type of British nationality, or are travelling for any purpose other than tourism, you should check visa requirements with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in London.

Long-term visa holders: re-entry permits

Foreign nationals residing in South Korea on most long-term visa types are allowed to re-enter South Korea within 1 year of departure without the need for a re-entry permit. For further information on re-entry permit exemption eligibility, call the Korean Immigration Contact Centre (Tel: 1345) or see the list of official announcements.

Foreign residents who intend to spend more than a year outside of South Korea should, in most cases, apply for a multiple re-entry permit via the HiKorea website before departure. If you require a re-entry permit, you should engage early with the Immigration Authorities and apply for a re-entry permit in good time – at least four working days – ahead of any planned travel.

Visas for working as an English teacher

To get a visa to teach English in South Korea, you must have a 3-year university degree. A TEFL qualification alone is not sufficient. If you are found to have obtained a teaching visa by deception, you will be detained and deported.

British nationals teaching English in South Korea have sometimes found living and working conditions to be below expectations, and have encountered difficulties getting the correct visas and residence permits. There have also been complaints of breach of contract, confiscation of passports, payment being withheld and inadequate or no medical insurance. Check all terms and conditions of your employment carefully and if possible speak to other teachers from the place where you plan to work before accepting any offer. If you are in South Korea and in need of assistance, you should contact British Embassy Seoul.

For those in possession of a work visa, all employment changes must be authorised by Korean Immigration.

British males of Korean origin

If you are a British male of Korean origin whose name appears on the Korean family register, you may be liable for military service even if you are travelling on your British passport.

Customs declarations

Check the website of the Korea Customs Service for information on restricted or prohibited items that may not be brought into the country. If you are in any doubt about the legality of any items - including medications - you should declare them on entry.

South Korean customs authorities allow you to bring small amounts of medication for your personal use, provided that it is kept in carry-on baggage. It is advised to take an English language prescription from your doctor at home for both your prescription drugs and non-prescription medicines. It is also a good idea to consult the website of the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety before you travel to South Korea.