Often called the Land of the Morning Calm, South Korea is rich in both history and culture. A unique amalgamation of coral beaches, remote islands and cosmopolitan cities, it offers a wide range of activities to its visitors. Explore traditional villages, meditate at ancient Buddhist temples, visit the colorful streets of Seol and glide down the slopes of the mighty Taebaek Mountain.
Is it safe travelling to South Korea after COVID 19?
Given the current climate and our understanding of the coronavirus, it is advisable to not travel to the South Korea. The COVID-19 situation in the South Korea is constantly evolving and the jury is still out on when the country will open its international borders to non-essential travelers, especially tourists. As the number of new cases has begun to stabilize, the country has etched out to reopen their economy one step at a time that may allow non-essential travelers to enter the country by the end of July.
Easing Travel Restrictions and Lockdown Measures
South Korea has brilliantly handled the situation of COVID-19 outbreak and is one of the very few countries to achieve normalcy. The country has officially begun transition into 'distancing in daily life'.
There will be a compulsory 14 day quarantine period whether people test positive or not.
Updates on Travel Restriction in South Korea
Domestic travel Residents are allowed to travel within the country without any restrictions since mid May. People are encouraged to travel using their own vehicle.
International Travel South Korea’s major airlines have started their international flights from June, starting with countries which have not imposed entry bans, but only quarantine measures. The international travel will started with China and has now expanded to other countries.
Where to go in South Korea
The capital city of Seoul offers a heady mix of modern skyscrapers, beautiful parks and ancient museums. Jeju Island with its white-sand beaches and picturesque pine forests is another popular destination. Ganghwado Island, Pocheon Art Valley and Namiseom Island are some of the other attractions you just cannot miss.
Things to do in South Korea
Dive deep into Korean culture as you explore the grand Gyeongbukgung palace. Enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the city as you visit the Namsan Tower which is home to a variety of museums and restaurants. Don’t forget to visit Norimadang, the famous open-air amphitheater, if you are interested in learning about the traditional art forms of Korea.
New Rules and Reopening of Tourist Attractions in South Korea
South Korea is one of the least explored countries in the Asian continent. However, with its rugged mountains, sprawling palaces and hidden islands, this undiscovered gem is definitely worth a visit. Explore Seoul’s five main palaces, spend the night in a traditional hanok and munch on delicious seafood at the Gwangjang market.
Away from the Crowd
South Korea houses a variety of offbeat destinations, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Head over to the city of Suwon, one of the few remaining fortress cities of South Korea. Bukhansan National Park boasts some of the best hiking trails in the country. You can also visit Jeonju, home to the delicious Korean delicacy ‘bibimbap’.
Entry and Exit
In response to the threat that COVID-19 poses, most foreign nationals are denied entry into the country except in certain exceptional cases.
- Domestic flights have resumed with full capacity.
- International flights are operating with reduced capacity.
- 14 day quarantine rules apply to all incoming international passengers.
Post COVID Travel Essentials for South Korea
You must be wondering about what measures and safety guidelines to follow before and during your trip. This section takes you through everything you need to know to plan a safe trip, including visa and passport essentials, travel insurance, what to pack, etc.
N-95 masks N95 mask is a global-standard respirator mask that is made from polypropylene and can filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles. N95 masks are also capable of filtering out all types of pathogens, including bacteria and viruses. With mandatory use of masks across airports and all forms of social interactions, it's mandatory that you carry at least 2 masks with yourself.
Gloves Non-sterile patient examination gloves, which are routinely used in healthcare settings, are appropriate for keeping your hands from getting contaminated. Remember to carry a bunch due to their disposable nature.
Hand sanitizer Hand sanitizers sold in pharmacies typically have an alcohol concentration of around 60%. It has been observed that hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol concentration work effectively and can inactive the novel coronavirus. Though most attractions are reopening with sanitisation stations, it's only beneficial to carry your own in case you run into an emergency.
Portable charger We all understand the value of staying connected in these times. As travel in the post COVID world moves towards a more contact-free and digital experience, it’s important that you always carry a portable charger when you travel.
Digital thermometer & first-aid kit You can prevent unnecessary trips to the hospital if you carry a first-aid kit with yourself. Take a digital thermometer along as they’re durable and you can keep a regular check on your body temperature.
Extra clothes Carry an extra pair of clothes with you that you wear only at the airports or other places with heavy footfall while traveling. While catching the air-borne virus can be prevented by wearing masks and social distancing, carrying an extra pair of clothes just minimises the risk that much further.
Ziplock bags Use zip lock bags to isolate pieces of clothing or items that you will not be using again. This will prevent any possibility of cross-contamination.
Wash your hands frequently Wash your hands with soap regularly and thoroughly to remove pathogens. You can also use alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol to kill bacteria and viruses.
Maintain distance and avoid close contact (6 feet or 2 arms length) Maintain at least 6feet distance between yourself and others. When someone coughs or sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus.
Always wear a mask in public Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and is air-borne, wear a mask, coupled with social distancing to prevent getting infected and/or spreading it to others.
Clean and disinfect surfaces Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant. Cleaning with soap and water reduces the number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
Travel insurance is now going to become even more important than it was. Whether it’s regarding flight cancellations or medical emergencies, insurance while traveling is going to play a major part in our travel planning and expenses. There are 5 major types of insurances available for you to consider:
Trip Cancellation These insurances cover you if you were to cancel your trip due to unforeseen events such as illness, injury, or death suffered by the insured or a member of the insured’s immediate family. Some policies however exclude trip cancellation in the event of war or civil disturbance.
Flight Delay/Cancellation Flight delay/cancellation insurance pays for new travel arrangements/flight tickets and in some cases, accommodations and meals. This depends on your provider so read your policy carefully.
Medical Insurance Medical insurance covers the cost of transportation in case of emergency medical evacuation, due to injury or sickness. Some medical insurances also cover COVID-19 infections should you get infected after the effective policy date.
You may sometimes end up having to pay up front for your medical services, which will then be reimbursed by your insurance company. In other cases, the insurance company will provide “proof of direct payment” to the healthcare provider.
Baggage Loss Baggage loss insures you in case your luggage is lost, delayed, or stolen. It sometimes includes a cash payment if your bags are delayed for more than 12/24 hours after you arrive at your destination.
Travel Document Protection Travel document protection insurance covers you so that you can replace a lost passport or other travel documents.
Seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Troubled breathing
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
If you think you have been exposed to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or have any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek medical attention immediately.
Virtually Experience the Best Destinations in South Korea
Just because we’re staying home doesn’t mean we’ve lost our wanderlust. Join online experiences, from interactive cooking classes to livestream walking tours, no matter where you are in the world.
Post COVID International Travel
The word is reopening again. Pockets of movement and travel bubbles have begun to pop up. While the cautious may stick to their own shores and travel domestically, international travel looks to be slowly recovering. In our extensive report linked below, you can learn about each country’s international travel policies, their current status with regards to COVID-19 numbers and the travel regulations in place.
The report also looks at 500+ major tourist attractions around the world and regularly updates their opening dates and rules of visiting in real-time. We also take a close look at how COVID-19 will impact the way we make our travel plans - picking destinations, choosing the right time to visit, packing essentials and more. Click on a link to read more.