The Singapore-South Korea VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) will be launched on November 15. If you are a fully vaccinated Singapore Citizen or PR, you can skip quarantine in the VTL country and Singapore. Still, you will need to take note of the VTL requirements.
Unvaccinated children aged 5 and below (as of date of arrival) are also exempted from quarantine upon arrival if they are accompanied by an eligible vaccinated adult. All other unvaccinated passengers may still board the flights to South Korea if they meet the entry requirements, but will be subject to quarantine.
All VTL flights are direct flights provided by Singapore Airlines, Asiana Airlines or Korean Air.
via Markus Winkler/Pexel
Entering South Korea
As a short-term visitor to South Korea, you must fulfil these requirements:
- No travel history outside of Singapore or South Korea for the past 14 days.
- Possess a digitally certifiable vaccination certificate confirming full vaccination against Covid-19 with any vaccine in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Emergency Use List.
- Vaccination certificate must be in English and issued by Singapore or South Korea.
- Completed final dose of vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival in Singapore or South Korea.
- Be insured with a minimum coverage of 30 million won (approximately SGD 34,000) for Covid-19 related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs via compulsory travel insurance. Most importantly, you need to carry a physical copy of your insurance policy for the duration of your trip.
- Obtain a valid visa for visa-required individuals, or an electronic travel authorisation for visa-exempted individuals before entering South Korea.
PCR Test Requirements
Before Departing Singapore
- Pre-departure Test (PDT): Take a Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at one of the MOH-approved PCR and ART swab providers and clinics 72 hours before departure. You need to obtain a negative test result.
- On-arrival Test: Book an on-arrival test at Incheon Airport before departure. After the test, you must self-isolate at your accommodation via private transportation (taxi or private vehicle). You are allowed to leave only when you receive your negative test results, usually within 12 hours. You will need to install a Self-Check Mobile App to record your health daily for 14 days from your arrival date.
Before Departing South Korea
- Post-arrival PCR Test: If your trip is eight days or more, you need to take a PCR test at your own expense at a clinic designated by the South Korean Government on either Day 6 or 7 of your trip (Arrival day as Day 0). Self-isolate at your residence or accommodation until receiving your PCR test results.
- Pre-departure Test: Similarly, take a PCR test at your own expense at a clinic designated by the South Korean Government 48 hours before leaving for Singapore.
- On-arrival Test: Lastly, book your on-arrival test in Singapore before departure.
Social Distancing System in Korea
In Korea, the Social Distancing Plan ranges from Level 1 (stable and contained) to Level 4 (full-blown nationwide transmission). As of 1st November 2021, the social distancing system is at Level 1.
|Type||Level 4||Level 3||Level 2||Level 1|
|Private gatherings||Up to 4 pax (before 6pm); up to 2 pax (after 6pm). If fully vaccinated, up to 6 pax at restaurants, cafes and homes.||Up to 4 people, or up to 8 if fully-vaxxed.||Up to 8 pax.||Not specified.|
|Restaurants/Cafes||Dine-ins until 10pm; only take-outs and deliveries permitted after 10pm.||Dine-ins until 10pm; only take-outs and deliveries permitted after 10pm.||Dine-ins until 12 midnight; only take-outs and deliveries allowed after midnight||Not specified|
|Open until 10pm. Visitor rest areas and event gatherings prohibited. Entry log records required..||No restrictions on opening hours. Visitor rest areas and event gatherings prohibited. Entry log records required.||No restrictions on opening hours. F&B samples, samples requiring removal of masks, visitor rest areas and event gatherings prohibited.||Not specified|
|Open till 10pm. Performance prohibited in non-regular performance facilities. Food consumption at venue prohibited.||Limited capacity. Food consumption at venue prohibited.||Business hours not specified. Food consumption at venue prohibited.||No seat distancing. Food consumption at venue prohibited.|
|Entertainment facilities (clubs, dance halls, game centres etc)||Gatherings prohibited||Open till 10pm. Food consumption at venue prohibited.||Open till 12 midnight. Food consumption at venue prohibited.||Business hours not specified.|
|Public Baths||Open till 10pm. Reduced capacity.||Open till 10pm. Reduced capacity.||Business hours not specified. Reduced capacity.||Business hours not specified. Public baths.|
|Water Parks||Open till 10pm. 30% capacity.||Business hours not specified. 30% capacity.||Business hours not specified. 50% capacity.||Business hours not specified. Capacity not specified.|
|Amusement Parks||Open till 10pm. 50% capacity.||Business hours not specified. 50% capacity.||Business hours not specified. 70% capacity.||Business hours not specified. Capacity not specified.|
|Libraries||50% capacity||50% capacity||50% capacity||70% capacity|
Where to Go in South Korea
So then, now that you’re aware of the requirements, here comes the question – how much has Korea changed? Due to the closed borders leading to the dearth of tourists, we hear the main shopping streets are a sad state. Despite that, you still have plenty to do in a country rich in nature, culture and history. Did you know there are 5 palaces in Seoul alone?
You’ll have to visit Seoul Lotte World & Aquarium, the world’s largest indoor theme park attached to a shopping center, five-star hotel, sport facility, and a Korean Folk Museum. Together with its outdoor amusement park, Magic Island, Lotte World promises something for everyone.
Over 55,000 marine animals from around 650 marine species live at the Lotte World Aquarium. Over there, get a feel of being underwater at South Korea’s largest indoor aquarium, featuring the first underwater escalator in South Korea, and long underwater tunnels!
For the most part, you may find Seoul Land & Cable Car familiar, as a number of popular K-dramas, including When My Love Blooms, The Secret Life of My Secretary have been filmed here. Merely 30 minutes away from Myeongdong, Seoul Land comprises 5 themed amusement areas.
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Take a Busan day tour to experience the best Busan has to offer. One of the places you’ll visit is Gamcheon Culture Village. Built on a steep hill, its nickname is “Machu Picchu of Busan”. As a result of a town revamp which saw artists working alongside residents to repaint their homes, the village’s alleyways and houses became more attractive. While you appreciate the artwork, look out for statues of the Little Prince and the Fox.
Next, you’ll visit Yeongdodaegyo Bridge, a bascule bridge connecting Nampodong to Yeongdo District. Meanwhile, as the bridge opens up, you will notice majestic paintings of seagulls rise into the air! This tour is coupled with other locations such as Jalgachi Seafood Market and Huinnyeoul Culture Village.
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Compared to Seoul, you’ll find it especially relaxing in Nami island, Petit France and Garden of morning calm. For instance, the only way to access Nami Island is via a scenic ferry ride. Generally, you’ll notice fall foliage in Autumn (October to November) and cherry blossoms in Spring (early to mid April). However, Nami Island looks different each season.
Subsequently, step into Petite France, an entire village dedicated to the novel “The Little Prince”. Together with cobbled roads pastel cottages, eclectic artwork and European-style buildings, Petite France will surely be a highlight of your Korea trip.
Lastly, complete your trip at The Garden of Morning Calm. The Garden of Morning Calm showcases the beauty of Korean horticulture against the picturesque Chungryeongsan Mountain. It is frequently used as a filming location.
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Don’t let language barrier get in the way! After planning your itinerary, you can pick up some Korean slang words and phrases to enrich your trip! Above all, have fun!