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Covid 19- travel to the Republic of Korea

To prevent the further spread of coronavirus in Korea, the South Korean government has decided to temporarily suspend Waiver of Visa for 90 countries, including Norway.

 

Travel Advice: Until further notice, and because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is advising against non-essential travel to the Republic of Korea. This travel advice may have implications for your travel insurance. 

As many airlines are cancelling or reducing the number of flights to and from South Korea, travelers are advised to check any updates with their airline.  

 

Suspension of Waiver of Visa Program of South Korea 

Travel Information: To prevent the further spread of coronavirus in Korea, the South Korean government has decided to temporarily suspend Waiver of Visa for 90 countries, including Norway. Before this measure, Norwegian nationals could enter South Korea without a visa for visits lasting less than 90 days. This measure came into effect on 13 April 2020. Thus, Norwegian citizens who plan to visit South Korea should contact their nearest South Korean Embassy to apply for a visa.  

  

Re-Entry Permit  

The Government of Republic of Korea has suspended the Re-entry Permit Exemption as of June 1, 2020 to address the COVID-19 spread, requiring all registered foreign residents to obtain a Re-entry permit prior to their departure for Re-entry into the ROK on his/her current status of stay.

Under the measure, all foreign residents re-entering the nation from overseas, except for Diplomat (A-1), Government Official (A-2), International Agreement (A-3) and Overseas Korean (F-4) status holders, are required to obtain a Re-entry Permit on the HiKorea website (www.hikorea.go.kr) at least 4 days prior to their departure from the ROK for re-entry into the country.

Foreign residents who have departed from the ROK without receiving a Re-entry Permit before their departure will have his/her Foreign Resident (Alien) Registration cancelled and are thus obligated to obtain a new visa to re-enter the ROK.

For further inquiries on the procedure, documents for above-mentioned requirements, you can contact the Korea Immigration Office to (+82)-1345 or Korean Embassy in Oslo.  

 

Covid-19 test and quarantine upon arrival in South Korea 

All foreign nationals must go through a special entry procedure upon arrival in South Korea. This includes a mandatory pre-departure Covid-19 test and quarantine for 14 days.  

Travelers arriving in the ROK must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained within 72 hours of their departure.  

Quarantine rules are as below:

  • Short-term visitors: Foreign travelers on short-term visa will be required to quarantine at a government facility at their own expense for 14 days (approximately 150,000 KRW a day). Travelers are required to undergo COVID-19 test within three days from their arrival during the quarantine period. 
  • Long-term visitors: Travelers with long-term or residential visa are required to self-quarantine at their own residences for 14 days and must undergo a COVID-19 test within three days. 

Local governments will provide essential products/food for persons in quarantine.  

 

Transit passengers: Most passengers transiting through Korean airports who do not pass through immigration have no quarantine requirement for stays less than 24 hours. However, transit passengers may need to undergo temperature checks or health questionnaires at the airport.  

 

Isolation exemption certificate for short-term travelers: Some Norwegians traveling to South Korea for important business, academic, public, humanitarian purposes or other emergencies may be exempt from self-quarantine requirements. An isolation exemption certificate must be approved prior to travelling at the Korean Embassy or Consulate. Travelers are advised to contact the Korean Embassy for further procedures. – Korean Embassy in Oslo  

 

Fines for Non-Compliance: Beginning of 13 November, face masks are compulsory in public places (public transportation, healthcare facilities, etc.). Failure to wear an appropriate mask could result in a fine of up to 100,000 KRW.  

Failure to comply with public health authority’s orders such as self-quarantine and COVID-19 test may subject to a fine, arrest, revocation of visa or deportation. 

 

The Korea Immigration Service and the Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) run Contact Centre Hotlines which provide counselling and interpretation to foreign nationals regarding COVID-19. 

  • Korea Immigration Service – (+82) 1345
  • KDCA – (+82) 1339

 

Useful links:

Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Travel Advice

Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency 

COVID-19 Portal by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea