Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare releases updated guideline for travelers visiting South Korea

Mayer Brown

The Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare recently released an updated guideline for travelers visiting South Korea, expanding the category of visitors who may be exempt from mandatory quarantine requirements. 


The current policy requires most travelers to be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon entry.  Only those who have been fully vaccinated in South Korea may be exempted from such requirement.  However, beginning July 1, 2021, this policy will be expanded to certain limited categories of travelers who have been fully vaccinated outside of South Korea.  The key issues of note are as follows:


  • Travelers visiting for important business, academic, public interest or humanitarian purposes may apply for a quarantine exemption certificate at an overseas Korean Embassy or Consulate prior to travel.
  • Individuals visiting their immediate family members (spouse, parents or children) in South Korea may also apply for exemption under the humanitarian category.
  • Individuals visiting for important business purposes must first submit a quarantine exemption application with the Business Travel Support Center at btsc.or.kr
  • Travelers visiting from areas with COVID-19 variants may not be eligible for exemption despite fully vaccinated status.  The current list of countries include South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Equatorial Guinea, Brazil, Suriname, Paraguay and Chile.
  • Regardless of one’s vaccination status, all travelers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 72 hours of departure.


Travel restrictions and related policies may be subject to change, so please make sure to check the latest rules before traveling.