COVID-19 in South Korea

Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19 in South Korea

Key Information for Travelers to South Korea


  • Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea.
  • Travel may increase your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19.
    • Before you travelget tested with a viral test 1–3 days before your trip. Do not travel if you are waiting for test results, test positive, or are sick. Follow all entry requirements for your destination and provide any required or requested health information. 
    • During travel, wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from people who are not traveling with you, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, and watch your health for signs of illness.
    • Before traveling back to the United States, get tested with a viral test 1–3 days before travel. Follow all destination and airline recommendations or requirements.
    • After you travel, get tested 3–5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
      • If you don't get tested, it's safest to stay home for 14 days.
      • If you had a known exposure to COVID-19 while traveling, delay travel, quarantine from other people for 14 days after your last known exposure, get tested, and monitor your health.
COVID-19 Levels

 

Level 4: Very High

 

Level 3: High

 

Level 2: Moderate

 

Level 1: Low

 

Level unknown

Learn more about COVID-19 levels.

See all COVID-19 travel notices.

Travel and COVID-19

Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus. These are also places where it can be hard to social distance. If you travel, take steps before, during, and after travel to keep yourself and others from getting COVID-19. 

Delay travel if you are waiting for test results, test positive, are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Find out more about When to Delay Travel.

Before You Travel

Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea. Talk to your doctor ahead of travel, especially if you are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Get tested with a viral test 1–3 days before your trip, keep a copy of your results with you during travel.

Do not travel if your test result is positive; immediately isolate yourself, and follow public health recommendations.

If traveling by air, check if your airline requires any health information, test results, or other documents. Follow entry requirements or restrictions at your destination which might include testing, quarantine, and providing contact information. Check with your destination's Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers. If you test positive on arrival, you might be required to isolate. You might be prevented from returning to the United States as scheduled. 

If you get sick in South Korea, you might need medical care. Plan ahead and learn more about Getting Health Care Abroad.

During Travel

If you travel, take the following steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not traveling with you. It's important to do this everywhere—both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces, including when using public transportation. 
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Do not travel if you are sick.

Get tested with a viral test 1–3 days before traveling back to the United States.

After You Travel

You might have been exposed to COVID-19 during your travels. You might feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can be contagious without symptoms and can spread the virus to others. 

After you travel, take the following steps to protect others from getting sick:

  • Get tested 3–5 days after your trip AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don't get tested, it's safest to stay home for 14 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
  • Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.

Always take these actions to protect others from getting sick:

  • Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you, particularly in crowded areas. It’s important to do this everywhere—both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces outside of your home, including when using public transportation.
  • Wear a mask and ask any household members who did not travel with you to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick.

See CDC's After You Travel page for more information.

Other Considerations

If you get sick with COVID-19 or test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 while abroad, you might not be permitted to return to the United States until you can end isolation. If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 during travel, you might be quarantined and not be permitted to return to the United States until 14 days after your last known exposure.

Clinician Information

Clinicians should obtain a detailed travel history for patients with symptoms of COVID-19 infection. If you suspect that a traveler has COVID-19, see Information for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19) for information on evaluating, reporting, clinical care guidance, and infection control.

Additional Information