[UPDATE - COVID-19] Quarantine Conditions for Inbound Travelers in Korea

Quarantine Conditions for inbound travelers (Foreigners and Korean Nationals) in Korea

All inbound travelers are required to quarantine themselves for 10 days upon their arrival in Korea till Feb 3. Exemptions granted in some cases.

PCR Test before departure

From January 20th, PCR negative certificate for overseas entry will be strengthened:

  • The testing must have been performed, and a certificate must have been issued, within 48 hours before the departure date

Previously, it was within 72 hours before the departure date.

*More info here


Conditions for Long-term Residents and Korean Nationals

  • Korean nationals and foreign nationals who reside in Korea have to self-quarantine at their place of residence unless this place of residence is not judged as suitable by the Korean authorities (in this case they will serve the quarantine at a designated government facility at their own cost - KRW 1,500,000 per person).
  • Travelers are required to do a Covid-19 test within 48 hours prior to entry and shall undergo a symptoms screening procedure at Incheon airport.

*More info here

  • At Incheon Airport, if no symptoms are detected, the traveler can go by private car, designated taxi (~70,000 KRW) or designated shuttle (free) to his/her place of residence, then proceed to a Covid-19 test at the nearest center within 3 days, by foot or directly from the airport. Usage of public transportation is not allowed.

*You can call the KCDA hotline at 1339 (available 24/7) or this website to know about the nearest test center.​

  • If symptoms are detected at the airport, the traveler will be subject to a Covid-19 test at the airport and will have to wait there until further notice.
  • During your quarantine, you shall download the 'Self Diagnosis' application and fill in your status twice a day. You will also receive a phone call from your local administration every day to check on your status.
  • Under no conditions, except emergencies and to go do the Covid-19 test center, you must leave your place of residence. Smokers are encouraged to find alternatives.
  • After the 10 days of quarantine, if the local administration assesses the person is still at risk, it could require a 3rd PCR test.


Quarantine Conditions for Short-Term Visitors (non-residents)

*The waiver on visas for short-term stay (less than 90 days) was reestablished in November. However, short-term travelers need a K-ETA before arrival and to apply here.

  • Foreign nationals who are short-term visitors in Korea, or Korean nationals and/or foreign residents whose place of residence is deemed not suitable for quarantine, will serve the quarantine at a designated government facility at their own cost (KRW 1,500,000 per person). Quarantine facilities are randomly assigned and cannot be changed for personal reasons.
  • The Consent for Isolation must be completed and submitted to the airlines.

*See Attachment 1 in this link.

  • Visitors will be tested automatically at their quarantine facility.
  • Transportation from the airport to the government facility is provided.​​
  • They shall download the latest version of 'Self Diagnosis' prior to entry in Korea and conduct self-diagnosis twice a day. You will also receive a phone call from the KCDA everyday to check on your status.
  • Packages of food and other necessities will be provided to you.
  • Under no conditions, except emergencies, you must leave your quarantine facility. Smokers are encouraged to find alternatives.
  • After the 10 days of quarantine, if the local authorities assess the person is still at risk, it could require a third PCR test. If not considered at risk, the third PCR test is not obligatory.


Exceptions for Short-Term Visitors with Family in Korea

Foreigners in short-term stay can change to self-quarantine :

  • If they have family relationship with a resident in Korea
  • If self-quarantine is possible
  • The resident in Korea hosting them should be a Korean or a foreigner with a long-term stay visa
  • The family relationship can be : spouse, direct ascendant and descendant, relative within 3rd degree


  • Change can be made at the airport or at the quarantine facility
  • Required documents : ID card + proof of the family relationship + certification letter (they should be prepared before entering in Korea)
  • The family should pick up the visitor at the airport or at the quarantine facility ; if it is difficult, the visitor will be in quarantine in a designated facility until the family submits required documents
  • The general standards and requirement for self-quarantine apply to the visitor, such as installation of the self-quarantine app

Documents to submit

  • The relationship should be proved by an official document such as a family or marriage certificate
  • In case of official documents issued by a foreign government, apostille is required
  • In case of non-English documents, a certified translation is required
  • The resident should submit a letter which certify the protection of the person subject to self-quarantine which clearly expressed that he/she will provide its residence to the visitor for its quarantine, and that he/she will actively cooperate to comply with self-quarantine rules and monitoring of related organizations during the quarantine period

*Find the certification letter here


Quarantine Exemptions

  • Koreans and foreign residents can apply to "Quarantine Exemption Certificate" prior the trip in case of IMPERATIVE business, academic, humanitarian or public interest purpose. The process for imperative business trip concerns only C-level executives (임원급) who can justify the signature of a contract or agreement, an action to perform onsite for a new facility construction or maintenance, or any action considered by the Korean government as inevitably performed through a quarantine exemption. The relevant Ministry  assesses the imperative character of such justification. In case of important business trip, application should be submitted to the Business Travel Support Center
  • They have to do a PCR test at the airport and wait for the result in a hotel designated by KCDA. The cost is paid by the government.
  • If the test is negative, they will be subjected to "Active Monitoring" (instead of 10 days quarantine), which includes daily submission of health status information via the 'Self Diagnosis App' and phone calls from health authorities throughout their stay in Korea.
  • Since December 3rd 2021, Korean Nationals and Foreigners fully vaccinated in Korea or abroad who are not traveling for imperative reasons can no longer be exempted from quarantine 


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