Yes, you read that right everyone. Travel to South Korea is finally back! Recently announced on the official South Korea Tourism Board website, fully vaccinated visitors can now enter the country quarantine-free starting 1 Apr 2022. Originally, only travelers who had received their vaccination in South Korea were eligible for quarantine-free travel. However, the South Korean government has now extended quarantine exemption to include foreign travelers who’ve received their vaccines overseas. Goodbye, isolation. Hello, Seoul searching trips!
Before anything else, how do we know if we’re part of this new travel scheme? Don’t fret! We’ve created a helpful guide and checklist to help you figure out your way through all the South Korea travel requirements you'll need to prepare to make your South Korea adventures happen.
How do I know if I qualify for South Korea travel?
Now you may be wondering, who can actually travel to South Korea quarantine-free? Eligible foreign tourists can enjoy quarantine exemptions following these conditions:
- A fully vaccinated traveler who has received 2 doses of a WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before traveling and within 180 days
- A fully vaccinated traveler who has completed their third dose of Covid-19 vaccine (booster)
However, please note that this does not apply for vaccinated visitors coming from Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Myanmar. If your country of origin is one of these destinations, you will still be required to quarantine for seven days.
What requirements do I need to travel to South Korea?
Now that you know that you’re eligible for quarantine exemptions, what’s next? Well, the travel requirements, of course! Here’s a helpful checklist of South Korea travel documents you’ll need to present before you enter the country:
- A valid Q-Code. Foreign tourists are required to register their vaccination history through the Quarantine COVID-19 Defence (Q-Code) System before your trip.
- A valid visa (for visa-required visitors) or K-ETA (for visa-free visitors). Since the visa-free and visa-waiver program is temporarily suspended, visa-free passport holders must check for their eligibility and apply for a K-ETA in advance to be able to enter South Korea.
Enjoy visa-free entry to Jeju and Yangyang
If you're thinking of exploring the other locations of South Korea, consider Jeju and Yangyang! These top South Korean destinations are now accepting visa-free travelers flying in via international airports starting 1 June 2022.
Most foreign tourists will be able to explore once again the beautiful Jeju Island visa-free, except for select citizens from *24 countries/regions and **10 other countries that have mutually suspended the visa-waiver program with South Korea, like Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.
Visa-free travelers to Yangyang, however, are limited to only groups of 5 or more travelers from Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, and ***Mongolia. For travelers to be waived of the visa requirement, the tour group must be traveling to South Korea through a designated travel agency.
* Iran, Sudan, Syria, Macedonia, Cuba, Kosovo, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ghana, Nigeria, Yemen, Egypt, Gambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Myanmar
** Subject to change; for further details on visa eligibility, please check with the embassy or consular offices of your country in Korea.
*** Starting October
Frequently asked questions for travel to South Korea
- Who qualifies as a ‘fully vaccinated’ traveler?
Fully vaccinated travelers are those who fulfill the two following conditions:
- Received 2 doses of a WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before traveling and within 180 days
- Received a third dose (booster) of the vaccine
2. How should I present proof of my vaccination status?
Before your trip you’ll have to register your vaccine status through the required Q-Code. Don’t worry, we’ve got a handy guide to help you throughout your registration process!
3. Is quarantine-free travel to South Korea still possible before 1 Apr 2022?
If you’ve received your vaccine in South Korea or have registered your vaccine status via the Korean COOV app before 21 March, 2022 you’re definitely eligible to enter South Korea quarantine-free!
4. What if I haven’t completed my vaccination?
If you haven’t completed your vaccination or aren’t registered under the Q-Code system you’ll be required to quarantine for seven days at home (for South Korean residents) or at a government quarantine facility (for short-term visitors) when you enter South Korea.
5. What if I recovered from Covid-19 this year, can I still go to South Korea?
Yes, you can! However, if you’ve only recently recovered, aside from getting a negative result on your required PCR test, you’ll also need to show an official doctor’s note on when you tested positive, what treatment you received, and/or what isolation you observed.
Ready to make your South Korea dreams a reality? Double-check first!
Despite the easing up of South Korea travel restrictions and entry requirements, this may still vary depending on your place of origin. Make sure to contact your country's South Korean embassy or consulate for further information before making any plans or bookings!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be a responsible traveler! All information on this post is accurate from the time of writing. Rules, regulations, and guidelines are updated frequently and may change without Klook's prior notice. For your safety, check with the respective destination directly before your travels.