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South Korea tightens on-arrival COVID-19 testing window from 25 July

You'll have to undergo a PCR test within one day of arrival in South Korea from 25th July 2022, instead of the current three-day window, with self-isolation now recommended while awaiting your test results.

In response to a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in South Korea, authorities there are tightening the testing timeframe for arriving travellers from Monday next week, while also recommending self-isolation following the on-arrival test.


This is an unfortunate (but small) step backwards for quarantine-free travel to the country, with both testing and vaccination requirements having been progressively relaxed, up until now.

South Korea on-arrival testing

For those arriving in South Korea on or before Sunday 24th July 2022, an on-arrival PCR test must be conducted within three days of arrival.

From Monday 25th July 2022, this test will need to be conducted within one day of arrival.

Furthermore, travellers are now recommended to remain in their accommodations until they receive a negative [on-arrival] PCR test result”, with immediate effect, replacing the advice that you were “allowed to carry on activities before or after taking [the] PCR test”.

While this is not a requirement to self-isolate, do note the latest recommended practice.


For most of our readers, it will therefore now be easier to complete your on-arrival PCR test at Incheon Airport (