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COVID-19 Information
29 MINUTE READ
September 30, 2022

Effective Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. EDT, the CDC rescinded its Order requiring all airline or other aircraft passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 to board any aircraft destined to the United States from a foreign country.  CDC’s Order requiring proof of vaccination for non-U.S. citizen nonimmigrants to travel to the United States is still in effect. For more information, see Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers.

Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Country-Specific Information

  • The U.S. Department of State currently has a level 1 travel advisory (Exercise Normal Precautions) for the Republic of Korea (ROK).
  • Effective October 1, a COVID test, either Antigen or PCR, is not required for international arrivals to Korea, either before travel or after arrival.
  • Travelers are encouraged to register their travel and health information through the Quarantine COVID19 Defence (Q-Code) system BEFORE traveling to Korea in order to streamline the airport arrival process.
  • Travelers who exhibit symptoms (fever, cough) upon arrival must be tested for COVID-19 at their own expense.
  • Short-term travelers who are infected with COVID-19 upon arrival in Korea may be taken to a government designated quarantine facility for 7 days and must pay for their treatment. In some cases, short-term travelers have been able to quarantine in a private home or rental home, depending on their lodging arrangements. This must be arranged directly with KDCA or the local public health office.
  • Additional questions regarding Korean entry and quarantine requirements should be directed to your nearest Korean Embassy or Consulate. You can consult the ROK COVID-19 Portal, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) for more information.

COVID-19 Testing & Vaccination

COVID-19 Testing
  • Are either PCR or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Korea? Yes.
  • If so, are test results reliably available within one calendar day? Yes
  • Testing for travel purposes. If you need a COVID test for travel or other purposes, many local hospitals and clinics offer them for a fee, usually between $100 and $300. The U.S. Embassy has no designated testing centers; however, a list of COVID-19 testing sites is available here.  This list is non-comprehensive and provided for informational purposes only. You can also check the Incheon Airport website for information on COVID-19 testing options at the airport. Please note this testing center is located before passenger check-in and requires an appointment, so it is not available to passengers in transit. Please ensure that the clinic you choose will provide test results that comply with the guidelines of the country you are traveling to and those of your airline, as travelers present this documentation to their airline.  For additional information, including recommendations and requirements after you travel, please refer to the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Testing for health reasons. Travelers experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should first obtain an antigen test result, either by purchasing a self-test antigen kit from a local pharmacy (approximately KRW 6,000) or taking an antigen test at a local respiratory clinic (approximately KRW 60,000). Travelers with a positive self-test antigen result should then visit a local screening center for a free PCR test to confirm their diagnosis. Travelers with a positive antigen result from a local respiratory clinic do not require an additional PCR test to confirm their diagnosis. The clinic will notify the appropriate public health office. A list of medical institutions that provide testing is available here. Travelers should contact the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) call center at 1339 for additional testing guidance.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
  • Has the government of Korea approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
  • Are vaccines available in Korea for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes.
  • Which vaccines are available in Korea? The ROK government approved the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson Janssen, Moderna, and Novavax vaccines for use.
  • According to Vaccination Guide for Foreign Nationals in Korea and COVID-19 Booster Shot Guideline for Foreign Nationals, foreigners living in Korea are eligible to receive vaccinations in the same priority order as Korean citizens. If you are a long-term resident foreigner,  you can book a date of your vaccination via online registration system (Korean only) or by directly contacting the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (+1339). Short-term visitors and unregistered foreigners can visit a public health center near them with a valid ID and request a temporary code in order to make an appointment.  Please refer to the COVID-19 Vaccination website for any additional information. The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

Entry and Exit Requirements & Movement Restrictions

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes.
    See “Quarantine Information” below for more information.
    ROK COVID-19 Portal
    Korean Immigration Service
    U.S. Forces Korea’s website to register for more information regarding COVID-19 for US Service Members
    The Embassy of the ROK in the USA has information about testing and quarantine requirements for short-term visitors to Korea.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No. This requirement was removed beginning September 3, 2022.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes.
      * Arriving passengers will experience some combination of temperature screening, health questionnaires, quarantines, and/or COVID-tests, depending on points of departure, visa status, and nationality.
  • Exit requirements for long-term residents. Foreigners who are long-term residents of the ROK who departed the ROK after April 1, 2022 will be allowed re-entry into the ROK within one year from the date of departure without obtaining a re-entry permit in advance.  Only those who are entering the ROK after spending more than a year abroad from the date of departure will need to apply for a multiple-re-entry permit.  The permits are available online through an e-application at the the www.hikorea.go.kr website, where there is a re-entry policy notice in English and a re-entry policy notice in Korean.  For inquiries, call the Korean Immigration Contact Center at +82-1345.
  • Visa extensions. Travelers wishing to lengthen their stay in Korea must submit an online e-application, documenting the circumstances that compel them to extend their stay. Extensions will not be granted beyond the validity of the passport. Please refer to these websites for more information:
    https://www.hikorea.go.kr
    https://immigration.go.kr/immigration_eng/index.do
Movement Restrictions
  • Is a curfew in place? No
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No

Quarantine Information

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No, there is no automatic quarantine. Travelers who exhibit symptoms at entry and test positive upon arrival may be required to quarantine (see Responsibility for Treatment Costs below). Travelers are encouraged to register their travel information through the Quarantine COVID19 Defence (Q-Code) system BEFORE traveling to Korea.
  • Transit passengers. The Korean Immigration Contact Center can clarify testing requirements for transit passengers at telephone number +82-1345. Transit passengers should also confirm entry requirements at their onward destination. Please note, there are no COVID testing facilities available in airport transit areas.
  • Responsibility for treatment costs. Short-term travelers who are infected with COVID-19 upon arrival in Korea may be taken to a government designated quarantine facility for 7 days and must pay for their treatment. In some cases, short-term travelers have been able to quarantine in a private home or rental home, depending on their lodging arrangements. This must be arranged directly with KDCA or the local public health office.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes.  Please see https://www.airport.kr/ap/en/index.do to check departure schedules and flight availability.
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes.
    * Masks are compulsory on all modes of public transportation, including taxis and domestic/international flights. Drivers and pilots are authorized to deny passengers who refuse to wear a mask.

Fines for Non-Compliance

  • Short-term visitors must provide passport information to lodging facility owners, who must forward it to the Ministry of Justice. Failure to comply could result in a fine of 500,000 won (approximately $500). More information is available on hikorea.go.kr.
  • Face masks are compulsory in public places (public transportation, demonstration sites and in healthcare facilities). Failure to wear an appropriate mask that covers both nose and mouth could result in a fine of up to 100,000 won (approximately $100).
  • People suspected of having COVID-19 who refuse to get tested can be fined up to 10 million won (approximately $10,000) or one year of prison.
  • Users and operators of high-risk businesses who violate disinfection and quarantine guidelines can be fined up to 3 million won (approximately $3,000).
  • Those who violate a self-quarantine order may be subject to a fine, arrest, or deportation.
  • Local governments may enact their own fines for non-compliance with COVID-19 rules on gathering size, permitted activities and/or testing mandates.

Consular Operations & Resources

Consular Operations
  • American Citizen Services offers in-person appointments for passports, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, Loss of Nationality, and notarials. Passport renewal applications (those using form DS-82) must be submitted by courier service. Please see information on all U.S. Citizen Services in Korea on the “U.S. Citizen Services” page of our website: https://kr.usembassy.gov/services
  • The U.S. Embassy in Seoul has resumed routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services for all visa categories. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided online here to request an emergency appointment. Please see the latest information on U.S. Embassy Seoul visa services on the “Visas” page of our website: https://kr.usembassy.gov/visas/
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