Is it safe to travel to South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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A Food Fun Travel Guest Post

If you’re planning to visit South Korea soon to discover all of the foodie delights it has to offer, you may have to first consider the question ‘Is it safe to travel during COVID-19?’.

The response to COVID-19 in South Korea has been pretty effective compared to some countries, but as travel increases your chance of getting and spreading coronavirus, you may be reconsidering your holiday plans, especially if you have an increased risk of infection.

So before you check Korea entry requirements and organize any visas you might need to visit the country, we recommend checking out the guide below so you are fully informed.

COVID-19 travel advisory for South Korea

At the moment, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers that the COVID-19 risk in South Korea is high, and discourages all nonessential international travel to the country, as well travel to most of South East Asia.

At present, family emergencies, medical reasons, and humanitarian aid work are all considered to be valid motives for essential travel to South Korea.

Older people and those with underlying health conditions are considered at particularly high risk of getting infected, so these groups are especially advised against visiting South Korea at the moment and should consider postponing any trips they have planned.

Although staying home is the best way to prevent yourself and others from getting COVID-19, you can still visit South Korea if you follow the necessary safety measures. However, if you yourself are sick or have been around someone infected with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, it’s best to put your trip off until a later date.

Entry Restrictions for South Korea due to COVID-19

From the beginning of the pandemic, South Korea acted quickly to implement a coordinated campaign to stop the spread of COVID-19 that was widely applauded by the international community, including restricting tourist arrivals from other countries.

However, as the number of cases declined in South Korea, the country opened its borders up to tourism once more, and international tourists are now able to enjoy a holiday in the country providing they follow the proscribed travel safety measures.

These involve the need for most travelers to present a medical certificate showing a negative COVID-19 test result (either PCR or serology) upon arrival at airports in South Korea. Other nationalities do not need to get a test done in advance, but they will need to have one taken once on South Korean soil.

What’s more, the government of South Korea requires most arriving passengers to undergo health screening at the airport, which may involve temperature checks and completing a health questionnaire.

Finally, most foreign citizens are required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in South Korea, which may be at a government facility at the traveler’s own expense. This also applies to foreigners who intend to board a domestic connecting flight to another South Korean destination.

What to do if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 when travelling to South Korea

If you do get sick with COVID-19 in South Korea while travelling during the corona crisis, you might have to undergo self-isolation for 14 days until you are no longer at risk of infecting others, which may result in you having to delay your flight back home. This may also happen if you test positive for coronavirus, even though you have no noticeable symptoms.

Although not a mandatory requirement for visiting South Korea during the pandemic, all visitors are advised to take out travel health insurance to guarantee their treatment if they do get sick with COVID-19, as medical care resources may be limited.

CDC recommendations for travelers returning from South Korea

Even though you may not feel sick or have noticeable COVID-19 symptoms after returning from South Korea, there is a chance that you may have contracted the coronavirus without realizing it.

Because of this, most travelers returning from a country that is not their place of residence are still advised to observe good social distancing measures from others once they get back home, for at least 14 days.

This means maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet, or 2 arms’ length, from people who are not part of your household, both in indoor and outdoor public spaces.

It’s also important to wear a face mask to keep your mouth and nose covered when travelling outside of your home to ensure the potential of spreading infection is minimized, as well as to frequently wash your hands thoroughly or use an alcohol-based sanitizing gel.

Finally, you should also be on the lookout for any obvious symptoms of COVID-19 and take your temperate at frequent intervals to check for fever. If you do notice any symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider for advice as soon as possible.

Author Bio:
Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable travel tips with the audience.