Covid Test Requirements South Korea September 2022

Starting Monday, July 25 those arriving in South Korea must take a PCR covid test within 24 hours of landing in Korea. The new measures will apply to Koreans, foreign residents, and visitors alike.

*Last Updated: September 5, 2022

Why PCR Covid Test is Required

Two new virus variants, Omnicron BA 5 and BA 2.75 have become the dominant strains in many countries and have also been detected in South Korea. Both variants are believed to spread faster and more vaccine-resistant than previous variants.

Most scientists agree that past infection and vaccines are not effective in stopping infection against these two variants. However, it may lessen the severity of the disease.

On July 1st, 2022, South Korea recorded 10,715 cases. As of July 19, 2022, that number has multiplied to 76,402 cases. Unfortunately, the number of cases is expected to continue to rise and we may see the reintroduction of more restrictions. The Korean Center for Disease Control predicts that we will reach another pandemic peak of around 300,000 cases per day in mid-August due to the spread of these new variants.

Along with increasing infection numbers domestically, there has also been an increase in infections among new arrivals. Although tests were not mandatory, the number of new arrivals who have tested positive in the past week has ranged from 293 to 429 daily. Many international arrivals are expected to enter the country to attend concerts and music festivals in late and mid-August. In an effort to help prevent the introduction of new variants at these events PCR covid tests are being reintroduced.

New Measures

Beginning in June, the KCDC recommended new arrivals take rapid antigen tests within a week of arrival. However, they were not required and neither were PCR covid tests.

Effective Monday, July 7 at 12:01 AM all arrivals into South Korea will be required to take a PCR covid test within 24 hours after arriving in the country. The cost of the PCR covid test will be covered for citizens of Korea and foreign residents holding an ARC. For those who are not residents of Korea, including tourists and those on short-term stays, you will need to pay for a PCR covid test in full.

Requirements for ARC Card Holders & Korean Citizens

Requirements:
Pre-departure:

  1. RAT within 24 hours of flight departure. Rapid Antigen Tests must be conducted at a hospital or clinic under the supervision of a medical professional. You must provide English or Korean documentation of the results.
  2. Q-Code (download the app and prepare before arrival).
  • Vaccination Status is irrelevant. To read more about Q-Code, Click Here.
  • Pre-departure PCR covid test no longer required (September 3, 2022).

After Arrival:

  1. PCR covid test is required 24 hours after arriving in South Korea.

Cost of PRC Test After Arrival: Free

Where to Get a PCR covid Test in Korea: Local public health center (보건소), or temporary testing site.
*Search 보건소 on Naver Maps for the nearest location.

If you test positive before departure: You may not be able to board the flight.
If you test positive upon arrival: 7-day mandatory self-quarantine at home.

*If you are living in a dorm, or are a new arrival who has not yet found a residence you will be required to go to government quarantine. (KRW 1,680,000 per person)*

If you test negative: No quarantine, enjoy your life.

Requirements for Tourists & Short-term Stay

Requirements:
Pre-departure:

  1. RAT within 24 hours of flight
  2. Q-Code (download the app and prepare before arrival).
  3. K-ETA (Apply at least 72 hours before departure).

Vaccination Status is irrelevant. To read more about Q-Code and K-ETA Click Here.
Pre-departure PCR covid test is no longer required (September 3, 2022).

After Arrival:

  1. PCR covid test is required 24 hours after arriving in South Korea.

Cost of PRC Test After Arrival: 80,000 Won

Where to Get a PCR covid Test in Korea: Incheon International Airport (4 sites).
Click Here for location information and procedures.
Click Here to reserve an appointment for a PCR covid test at the airport.

If you test positive: 7-Day quarantine at a government-approved facility at your own expense (KRW 1,680,000 per person).

If you test negative: No quarantine is required. Enjoy your stay in Korea!