January 14, 2021
Effective January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recent recovery for all passengers prior to boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery.
Please see CDC’s FAQ for answers to questions about the new requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html.
If you are planning to return to the United States, you should contact your airline for specific information about testing requirements for travelers. Because airlines may adopt and modify their own specific policies to implement CDC’s new rule, you should contact the carrier for your U.S.-bound flight and not rely on information from other carriers or information or experience from previous trips.
Where can I obtain a test for travel to the United States?
Many local hospitals and private clinics offer COVID tests for travel purposes for a fee, usually between $100 and $300. The Republic of Korea (ROK) government maintains a list (in Korean) of all testing centers, including private clinics: https://www.mohw.go.kr/react/popup_200128_3.html. Also see Incheon Airport’s website (in Korean) for information on a testing clinic at Terminal 2 that provides testing certificates within 24 hours: https://www.airport.kr/ap_cnt/ko/svc/covid19/medical/medical.do.
Please ensure that the clinic you choose will provide test results that comply with CDC guidelines and those of your airline.
Consult the embassy’s COVID-19 website for more information about the COVID-19 situation and travel requirements to and from the ROK: https://kr.usembassy.gov/022420-covid-19-information/.