South Korea to Welcome Vaccinated Tourists April 1 — What to Know

Travelers will not have to quarantine upon arrival.

People take photos of cherry blossoms during a spring day at Yeouido, the main finance and investment banking district in South Korea
Photo: Chris Jung/Getty Images

South Korea will become the latest country to welcome international tourists next month when the country eliminates quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers.

Starting April 1, the country will welcome international travelers who have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the Korea Tourism Organization. Travelers who received the final dose of their initial vaccine series more than 180 days ago must get a booster shot.

Travelers who qualify as vaccinated will be exempt from the previous requirement to quarantine upon arrival.

Visitors will have to fill out a Q-CODE form with their passport information, vaccine record, and travel information before arriving in South Korea and will receive a QR code to scan.

While South Korea has remained closed to much of the world, the country previously opened Vaccinated Travel Lanes with Singapore for quarantine-free travel. In that case, vaccinated travelers had to arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of their departure, take another PCR test six to seven days after arrival, and purchase travel insurance, according to the tourism organization.

South Korea may be preparing to open its borders to the world, however the country is experiencing its worst coronavirus surge with record pandemic-related deaths recorded due to the omicron variant. On Tuesday, the country saw more than 290 deaths from the virus and had more than 1,190 patients in serious or critical conditions, The Associated Press reported.

Currently, South Korea leads the rest of the world in average daily new infections, Reuters reported, "accounting for one in every 5 infections reported worldwide each day."

But the country has an extremely high vaccination rate and more than 62% of people have received a booster shot, according to the AP.

South Korea joins countries all around the world in easing border restrictions. Last month, Australia began welcoming international tourists and New Zealand plans to open its borders to the world in May. And several other countries have done away with pandemic-related border restrictions completely like Ireland and Iceland.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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