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I Took The First SG VTL Flight To Korea: Here's What You Should Know

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Siti Ayeeshah Zaki  •  Nov 15, 2021

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When I was asked if I wanted to head to Korea for HHWT, there was no question about it. I dropped everything and left for my next adventure. However, the breeze that was once check-ins were now a pile of documents in hand, passport in the other. Catching up with all I needed to travel had been anxiety-inducing, but getting through customs was nerve-wracking. Did I have everything I needed? What would happen if I didn't? Nonetheless, it was worth it. I explored new places, met amazing new people, and enjoyed exciting new experiences. It was so refreshing that now I want you to experience that, too. So here's what you'll need to know to get to Korea!

What You Need To Know About Getting To Korea

Now here's the real head-scratcher. Getting to another country used to be as easy as grabbing your passport and heading for the causeway or airport. I remember packing my clothes, grabbing my passport and just leaving the house. Now, it's a little bit different. In order to ensure everyone's safety, the South Korean and Singaporean Governments require you to have a few things prepared before you travel.  P.S. Here are accommodations near South Korea's top attractions! 

1. K-ETA

To enter Korea, you'll need to have filled up this form in advance. The K-ETA is an electronic travel authorisation that allows visa-free tourists to enter Korea. Remember to apply for the K-ETA at least 24 hours before heading for your flight. P.S. Here Are Quarantine-Free Countries That Are Open To Travellers Vaccinated With Sinovac!

2. Vaccination Certificate

This is the Vaccinated Travel Lane after all. 😉 To travel to South Korea, you'll need to be fully vaccinated with any World Health Organisation emergency-use list vaccine. So make sure you have this ready! I had been vaccinated, so there was no worry there. I did, however, have to get my vaccination certificate from Notarise. Getting my vaccination certificate here means that I was getting it from a safe and reliable source! Recognised by both governments, make sure to print a hard copy of the QR Code and certificate provided. I had to show it to the appropriate authorities as I made my way through the airport check-ins in both countries.

3. Pre-Departure Covid-19 Test

You're also going to need a negative PCR test result before flying off! Important:  Note that the test result is only valid if taken within 72 hours of departure, so make sure to book your slot early! Many PCR tests taken less than  38 hours before a flight may not get their results back in time. I avoided this by calling my nearby clinic a week ahead to book my slot. The clinic helped calculate the time and date I ought to take my PCR test based on my flight. Super convenient! In Singapore, the tests cost about $120- $170 each depending on the clinic. Remember to book your pre-departure PCR-test at an MOH-approved provider so that your test is valid. Oh and if you're travelling with kids, not to worry! Infants and children under the age of 6 don't need to take the PCR tests. 😊

4. Two Bookings For PCR Tests In Korea 

If you're going on a trip that's less than 7 days, you're only going to need to book 2 PCR Tests. One will happen once you land in Korea and one a day before you head back home. I booked my first Korean PCR test with Safe2Go Pass - it was super easy, especially since the website is in English. But here's where it got tricky. I had to book my second PCR test at an approved clinic or hospital in Korea on my own. Luckily for me, this PCR test was booked by a travel agency in Korea, making my trip preparation so much smoother. Thank you Jane DMC!
However, if you're heading over for a solo trip, you can refer to this list of approved clinics! Just contact the hospital or clinic ahead of time and book your PCR test slot. Some clinics and hospitals allow for walk-ins too, so you'll have to clarify that with your selected test provider. 😊 Each PCR test can cost up to KRW 180,000 (SGD$206) depending on what day it is and which clinic you go to. P.S. If you wish to stay in Korea for more than 8 days, you'll have to book an extra PCR Test on the 6th/7th day of your stay in Korea at an approved clinic. Check out this website for more details! From experience, they checked my vaccination status and latest PCR test documents during check-in at both airports. So make sure you always have them ready!

5. Travel Insurance 

 To keep you safe, you'll have to buy an insurance plan before you make the trip. It needs to have a minimum coverage of 30 million won for COVID-19 medical/treatment expenses and hospitalisation costs. That way, if you happen to be covid positive in Korea, your hospitalisation expenses will be covered (depending on your plan)! The travel agency helped me with this as well, but you can check out AIG for their insurance plans to Korea!

6. On-Arrival PCR Test in Singapore

Last but not least, I reserved an On-Arrival PCR Test slot at Singapore Changi Airport. This will be the PCR test taken once you land back home. Using Changi Airport's Safe Travel Concierge to book my PCR test was super easy 🤗 I made sure to book my slot before heading off for Korea, that way I was guaranteed a test! I also had to pay online in advance, so be ready for that. The best part about the Safe Travel Concierge is that it has instructions on other steps needed to take to arrive safely home in Singapore, such as the arrival white card. Super helpful! For more details on the documents needed, check out this link! It has all you need to know about traveling to Korea during Covid-19. 

7. Once You're In Korea

 Once you're in Korea, there'll be a few immigration stops. They'll ensure you have the right documents to tour and explore the country 😍 

First stop: Immigration

The immigration line was pretty long and took about an hour to clear. But after clearing immigration, things were pretty smooth. At this stage, you'll need your health declaration form and travel record declaration (given to you on the airplane), your passport and your pre-departure PCR test result! HHWTTip: Have multiple copies of the relevant documents! Immigration kept some of my documents for record, so it's best that you have multiple copies, just in case. I put one in my hand-carry, and another in my luggage bag for emergencies. 😌

Second stop: Incheon Airport's On-Arrival PCR Test

Getting around the airport was no problem! There are clear signs all around the airport for me to get to the PCR test venue. The signs are in English too, so you definitely won't get lost! P.S. Check out this Muslim-friendly Everland guide!
And then you're done 🤩 Take a private vehicle, taxi or designated bus for international travellers to isolate yourself in your accommodation and wait for your results 🤗  Remember not to leave your room till you get a negative PCR test result! Travelling may not be the breeze it once was, but it definitely won't be difficult with this handy guide. From documents you need to what will happen once you land, you're now good to go! I'm definitely much more confident about travelling now than I once was. Share this with your travel buddy to plan your next trip to South Korea 🥳