International travel during a pandemic- what to expect upon arrival in Korea


Incheon International Airport (Courtesy: Google Image)

Incheon International Airport
Incheon International Airport (Courtesy: Google Image)

Part One focused on what you need to know before leaving Korea. Part Two is on what to expect upon arrival in Korea and what you may experience during quarantine.

At some point, international travel is inevitable. Returning to South Korea is as complicated as leaving.

As noted in my previous article (read more here), you need a re-entry visa and medical certificate upon return. According to Korea’s Center for Disease Control, cases of new covid-19 infections in Korea are principally from new entrants from abroad. To this end, the following information are useful.

At Incheon International Airport (IIC) for example, you need:

# plenty of patience and paper work, including: self-isolation address, host contact details (if you are renting a place) and quarantine rules. For those without an apartment to return to, government self-isolation centers are available upon request. Each individual is liable to pay for expenses incurred from using isolation facilities.

# time to download and activate Korea’s trace and trace app. It is mandatory to have the app installed on your phone upon arrival.

# to have enough to cover your taxi fare to your destination. There are covid-19 compliant taxis at IIC. If you depend on public transport, you may need to spend a reasonable amount of time at the airport before a safe means of public transportation is made available.

# As you leave the airport, you are required to conduct your first covid-19 test at a designated health facility. So prepare to be tested in-between the airport and your self-isolation destination.

# From Day 1 to Day 13, every self-isolating individual is required to take their temperature and upload the same on the T&T app every morning and evening. On Day 13, a second covid-19 test is mandatory. The result of which will determine what will happen on Day 14. If an individual test positive for covid-19 (rare but not impossible), such a person will be transferred on Day 14 to a medical facility for immediate attention. Otherwise, they are allowed to re-integrate into society.

# During quarantine, law enforcement will impose a fines of up to 3 million won ($2,500) on first-time violators of mandatory 14-day quarantine. Second- and third-time violators will face fines of 5 million and 10 million won, respectively. Exit order may be imposed as well.

For a comprehensive guide on returning to Korea, visit here