Full Details: Singapore – South Korea VTL

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The Singapore - South Korea VTL kicks off on 15 November 2021. Here's a primer on the procedures and eligibility for quarantine-free travel.

The Singapore – South Korea Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) commenced on 15 November 2021, allowing fully-vaccinated individuals to travel between both countries with no quarantine on either side.

Two-way quarantine free-travel to South Korea begins 15 November 2021

Unlike the other VTLs Singapore has with countries in Europe and North America, the South Korea VTL works a little differently. That’s because South Korea remains closed to most of the world; Singaporeans will be among the first leisure visitors in more than a year (though not the first- that honour goes to Saipan). As part of the deal, they can expect to undergo testing on arrival, plus additional testing depending on how long they’re staying. 

In this post, I’ll do a full rundown of the Singapore – South Korea VTL process, including eligibility criteria, designated flights and testing requirements. 

Be sure to check out my first-hand review of the arrivals process at Seoul Airport too.

✈️ Summary: South Korea VTL
To South Korea 🇰🇷
  • 14 day travel history: Singapore and South Korea only
  • Purchase travel insurance with min. 30M KRW (~S$35K) coverage (short-term visitors only)
  • Apply for K-ETA (foreigners only)
  • Fully vaccinated with any vaccine in the WHO EUL (exemption for children aged 5 and below)
  • Take pre-departure PCR test 72h before flight
  • Take non-stop flight to South Korea
  • Take PCR test on arrival in South Korea (pre-booking required)
  • Take PCR test on Day 6 or 7 in South Korea (if stay ≥8 days)
To Singapore 🇸🇬
  • 14 day travel history: Singapore, South Korea, or any Category I/ VTL country
  • Purchase travel insurance with min. S$30K coverage (short-term visitors only)
  • Apply for VTP (short-term visitors and long-term pass holders only)
  • Fully vaccinated with any vaccine in the WHO EUL (exemption for children aged 12 and below)
  • Take pre-departure ART/PCR test 2 days before flight
  • Take designated VTL flight to Singapore
  • Take PCR test on arrival in Singapore (pre-booking required)
VTL FAQs
Summary: SG-ROK VTL

Travel to South Korea: Eligibility

To travel from Singapore to South Korea without quarantine, you must have spent the past 14 days in Singapore and/or South Korea only. Your travel history cannot include any other countries, even if they’re on the VTL list. 

You must also hold a digitally-certifiable vaccination certificate (issued by Singapore or South Korea) showing full vaccination against COVID-19 with any vaccine in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Emergency Use List.

Those vaccinated in Singapore can use the Notarise portal to download a notarised copy of your vaccination certificate (don’t use the HealthHub version, because it doesn’t have a QR code).

Just like Singapore, Korea offers incentives for vaccinated people (e.g. dining in larger groups). To prove your vaccination status, you’ll need to present your COVID-19 certificate and allow the establishment to scan it with their local COOV app. Note that this doesn’t always work out (see my upcoming post on post-COVID life in Seoul for more details), but you can fill out a paper form in that case. 

Unvaccinated travellers from Singapore will not be permitted entry, unless they are aged 5 and below (i.e. unvaccinated children aged 6-12 won’t be eligible to travel to South Korea, notwithstanding the fact they’re eligible for VTL travel to Singapore)

(1) Take a pre-departure PCR test in Singapore

According to the CAAS, travellers from Singapore must take a pre-departure PCR test within 72 hours of their flight to South Korea. This requirement is waived for children aged 5 and below.

However, the Korean embassy’s FAQs provides a slightly more liberal window. According to them, “72 hours” is based on calendar dates, which means that if your flight is at 1000 hours on 10 December, your test result should be issued after 0000 hours on 7 December (which basically gives you additional time). 

Travellers can approach any approved clinic in Singapore directly to book their test. 

Approved COVID-19 Test Providers
Click the link for “clinics approved to conduct PCR Pre-Departure Tests”. These clinics offer results in the HealthCerts.oa format, which is needed for notarisation.

Tests start from S$107 per person; you can refer to this post for an idea of pricing at other chains.

(2) Purchase travel insurance

Travellers from Singapore to South Korea are required to purchase travel insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000,000 KRW (~S$35,000) for COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs.

Do note that not all travel insurance policies provide COVID-19 coverage! I’ve listed the ones that do in this article; here’s how their medical coverage measures up:

Provider COVID-19 Medical Expense Coverage
Policy Wording
  • Basic: S$50K
  • Standard: S$100K
  • Supreme: S$250K
Policy Wording
  • Bronze: S$1M
  • Silver: S$1M
  • Platinum: Unlimited
Policy Wording
  • Lite: S$10K
  • Plus: S$15K
  • Prestige: S$20K
Policy Wording
  • Essential: S$75K
  • Comprehensive: S$150K
Policy Wording
  • Basic: S$50K
  • Supreme: S$200K
Policy Wording
  • S$150K
Policy Wording
  • Essential: S$100K
  • Superior: S$200K
Policy Wording
  • S$350,000

With the exception of Aviva, all policies will meet this threshold.

(3) Apply for Electronic Travel Authorisation

K-ETA Application

Singapore citizens must apply for a K-ETA at least 24 hours before boarding their flight to South Korea. Each traveller requires his or her own K-ETA (regardless of age), and the fee is 10,000 KRW (~S$11) per person. 

Results will be received within 24 hours of application (typically within 30 minutes), and all fees are non-refundable even if the K-ETA application is denied. 

👍 Exemption for APEC Business Travel Card
If you hold an APEC Business Travel Card, there is no need to apply for a K-ETA (or Visa for that matter)

Each K-ETA is valid for two years from the date of approval; a new K-ETA must be obtained if there are changes to your passport details.

K-ETAs only cover activities permitted under a C-3 visa, e.g. tourism, business meetings, family visits, conferences and short-term study with a maximum stay of 90 days. Other types of visits require a visa. 

You do not need a K-ETA if your plan is to take a direct flight to Jeju Island, but since that’s not possible at the moment, it’s a de facto requirement to enter Korea. 

(4) Book a non-stop flight

Travellers must book non-stop flights from Singapore to Seoul on Singapore Airlines, Korean Air or Asiana. Flights to airports other than Seoul may be considered at a later date.

There is no such thing as a VTL flight to Seoul, so don’t go looking for the label on Singapore Airlines’ website. Booking any non-stop flight between Singapore and Seoul will suffice.

Singapore Airlines’ flights to Seoul are summarised below:

Flights Days
SQ608
S M T W T F S
SIN
0125
ICN
0850
       
SQ600
S M T W T F S
SIN
0805
ICN
1530
       

Asiana’s flights to Seoul are summarised below. Do note that the Sunday flight only starts from 1 December 2021 onwards.

Flights Days
OZ752
S M T W T F S
SIN
2300
ICN
0620 (+1)
     

Korean Air’s flights to Seoul are summarised below. 

Flights Days
KE646
S M T W T F S
SIN
0130
ICN
0850
       
KE644
S M T W T F S
SIN
2230
ICN
0545 (+1)
✔             

(5) Take an on-arrival PCR test

Visitors to South Korea must book an on-arrival PCR test at Incheon Airport via Safe2GoPass before departing from Singapore.

After the test is completed, they must take a taxi, private-hire vehicle or the AREX train to their residence or accommodation while awaiting the results. Results will be released according to the following schedule:

Test Time Result
0700-0800 hrs Same day by 1100 hrs
0800-1000 hrs Same day by 1300 hrs
1000-1145 hrs Same day by 1500 hrs
1300-1400 hrs Same day by 1700 hrs
1400-1500 hrs Same day by 1800 hrs
1500-1800 hrs Next day by 0800 hrs
⚠️ No domestic travel until results are out!
Even if Seoul is not your intended destination, you will still need to self-isolate until your on-arrival test results are released. In other words, you can’t take a train/domestic flight straight after arrival.

If you’re taking your test after 1500 hours, don’t fret. Based on my personal experience, results still come out within 3 hours or so. 

Results will be delivered by email, and once a negative result is received, travellers may resume regular activities. They will need to update their daily health status in the Self-Check Mobile App for the duration of their stay or 14 days, whichever is shorter.

The cost of a COVID-19 test at Incheon Airport is 174,000 KRW (S$197) on weekdays and 180,000 KRW (S$204) on weekends or holidays. 

(6) Take post-arrival PCR test on Day 6 or 7

Travellers who intend to stay in South Korea for 8 or more days must take a PCR test at a medical clinic designated by the government on Day 6 or Day 7 of their arrival in South Korea, at their own expense (the arrival day counts as Day 0).

Testing can be done at any of the clinics below. You do not need to self-isolate after taking the Day 6 or Day 7 test. 

Places for Day 6/7 PCR testing

The cost of the test will be approximately 135,000-180,000 KRW (S$150-200) per person. Travellers who miss their test may be subject to a fine. 

VTL: To Singapore

To travel from South Korea to Singapore on the VTL, you must have spent the past 14 days in Singapore, South Korea, and/or any other VTL country designated by Singapore.

(1) Apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP)

A VTP is not required for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents.

Short-term visitors and long-term pass holders will need to apply for a VTP between 3-60 days before their intended arrival in Singapore. No fee is applicable. 

VTP Application Link

A successful VTP application will be approved immediately. For long-term pass holders, your employer does not need to give approval; you can complete the VTP application process by yourself.

Each traveler requires a VTP of his/her own, and each VTP is valid for a single entry. 

(2) Take a pre-departure ART in South Korea

All VTL travellers must take a pre-departure ART within 2 days of their flight to Singapore. The test must be taken at an MOH-recognised institution.

You can book an appointment for an ART swab at Incheon Airport using the Safe2Go portal, at a cost of 84,000 KRW (~S$96). If you do the test on weekend/holidays or weekdays before 9 a.m and after 6 p.m, the cost will be 90,000 KRW (~S$103).

(3) Book a designated VTL flight

SIA Dedicated VTL Page

Travellers must take a designated VTL flight to Singapore, on Singapore Airlines, Asiana or Korean Air. 

Singapore Airlines’ VTL flights from South Korea are summarised below:

Flights Days
SQ607 S M T W T F S
ICN
1030
SIN
1615
    ✔    ✔   
SQ601 S M T W T F S
ICN
1635
SIN
2220
       

Asiana’s VTL flights from South Korea are summarised below. Do note that the Sunday flight only starts from 1 December 2021 onwards.

Flights Days
OZ751
S M T W T F S
ICN
1620
SIN
2155
     

Korean Air’s VTL flights from South Korea are summarised below.

Flights Days
KE645
S M T W T F S
ICN
1835
SIN
0010 (+1)
       

(4) Take an on-arrival PCR test at Changi Airport

Swab tent at Changi Terminal 3

VTL travellers must undergo a PCR test at Changi Airport, which is administered after collecting your bags and clearing customs. This can be booked via the link below, at a cost of S$125 nett per person.

Changi Airport COVID-19 test

After you’re swabbed, you must proceed directly (via private transportation, taxi or private hire car) to your declared place of accommodation.

This must be an individual room with an attached toilet at a residential or non-residential accommodation. If there are non-travelling members of your household, you do not need to have the entire house to yourself- just the individual room with an attached toilet will do. 

Once you receive notification of your negative test result (typically within 6-12 hours), you can proceed with activities as per normal. 

⚠️ Important Note

Due to the new COVID-19 Omicron variant, Singapore will be mandating additional swabs for arriving VTL passengers, effective 3 December 2021. Refer to the article below for further details.

Singapore to require daily COVID-19 ART swabs for all VTL travellers

Summary of Testing Regime

⚕️ South Korea VTL Testing Regime
Location Remarks Price
🇸🇬 Singapore 72h before departure
(PCR)
From S$130
🇰🇷 South Korea On arrival
(PCR)
~S$200
🇰🇷 South Korea 6/7 days after arrival
(PCR)
~S$150-S$200
🇰🇷 South Korea 2 days before departure
(ART)
~S$96-S$103
🇸🇬 Singapore On arrival at Changi
(PCR)
S$125

Travellers are looking at a total of up to five COVID-19 tests, although depending on your schedule, it may be possible to combine the day 6/7 test with the pre-departure test for Singapore. This would be contingent on doing your test at a location that provides an English certificate (which usually incurs an extra fee in South Korea).

Can the arrangement burst?

While Singapore has wisely not called this a “bubble” (not that the term’s allowed anymore!), there are still provisions in place to suspend the arrangement if necessary. 

This may happen in the event of a spike in cases, or if new mutations arise. The country which wishes to pause the VTL arrangement must give the other party one week’s notice. 

How much do redemptions cost?

Singapore Airlines B787-10 Business Class

If you’re thinking of redeeming miles, here’s how much KrisFlyer redemptions on Singapore Airlines will cost. 

Redemption Cost from Singapore to Seoul
(Flight on Singapore Air)
  Saver
(One-Way)
Advantage
(One-Way)
Economy 25,000 45,000
Premium Economy 34,500 N/A
Business 47,000 70,000

While you can redeem KrisFlyer miles for Asiana flights, I’d advise against it as you’d have to pay fuel surcharges  (~S$285 for a round-trip Business Class ticket).

A better alternative would be to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles for flights on Korean Air. Alaska does not pass on fuel surcharges for redemptions on this carrier. 

Redemption Cost from Singapore to Seoul
(Flight on Korean Air)
  Saver
(Round-trip)
Economy 35,000
Business 60,000
Only round-trip awards can be booked

Conclusion

Even if you’re a veteran of the Germany VTL, the Singapore – South Korea one will be slightly different owing to South Korea’s unique set of circumstances. It does mean more testing and fewer flight options, but I doubt hardcore Korea fans will mind. 

I’m currently researching a separate article on COVID-19 rules and restrictions in Seoul, as well as places for doing a pre-departure test and the procedure should you test positive. Stay tuned. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Anon

Scoot rumoured to open direct flights to Seoul. This will be “VTL approved”

colink

On SQ, SIN to ICN technically aren’t VTL flights imo. There can be unvaccinated people onboard who are non-Singaporean or even Singaporeans who can get authoriation to enter without vaccination. Such visas can be applied for at the Korean consulate.

Neither is SQ even considering them to be I think — only SQ601/607 on return flights.

colink

Also, if I’ve read correctly, all SQ flights returning from ICN will be VTL as of Nov 16 right?

Problematic for families wanting to travel to Korea as they’ll have to return via a non-VTL flight (VTL doesn’t care for families at this point) which leads me to think KE/OZ will end up serving such a flight… there is also a considerable Korean expatriate population with families here, so I would bet on them keeping it.

Paul S

OZ has just updated its schedule for November: 4 VTL, 1 non-VTL: https://flyasiana.com/C/SG/EN/customer/notice/detail?id=CM202110120001515786

Don’t freak out at the December schedule; the Korean version (https://flyasiana.com/C/SG/KO/customer/notice/detail?id=CM202110120001515786) states that there will be daily flights, but which are VTL/non-VTL are TBC.

Still no info from KE.

Paul S

Edit: OZ has updated for both November and December.

Edit: and we have updates from KE (https://www.koreanair.com/sg/en/travel-update/covid19/travel-restriction/south-east-asia)

* ICN – SIN : Designated VTL flights (KE645 D146)
* SIN – ICN : All Korean Air flights (KE646 D257, KE644 D7)

I presume “D” refers to the day of the week.

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul S
Cyndi

Thanks so much, this is so useful! Can I ask if you know which clinics can combine the day 6/7th and pre-departure test as one single test?

Ken

Very informative article! Looking forward to your article on pre-departure testing in Korea. That would be very helpful for those who don’t know the language.

colink

Also, while without a doubt this will change very soon, SG passport holders can’t actually apply for a K-ETA at this point. No announcement has been made yet.

Which also means if you’re a PR / long term pass holder from a country that doesn’t have bilateral opening with KR (which seems likely to be the criteria) this won’t work.

Last edited 1 month ago by colink
Stefan

Yeah, keen to find out how it will work for LTPHs living in Singapore. The Korean embassy in Singapore states:

“Administrative details will be provided in due course, please stay tuned for more information. “

Looking forward 😃

LQL

Hi, I’m flying back to Singapore next Fri, 15 Oct. Apparently, pre-departure PCR test is available at ICN airport via Safe2GoPass booking but it’s not listed as one of the approved clinic on the ICA website. Called the safetravel CSO and was encouraged strongly to have the pre-departure test done at one of the approved clinic to avoid denial at check-in.

Just find it weird why the pre-departure PCR test can’t be done at the ICN airport. Going to call SQ ICN airport office tomorrow and check.

LQL

Checked with Safe2GoPass CSO and confirmed pre departure PCR test to SG can be done at ICN airport (many Singaporeans did so before me and no issue at check-in) although it’s not listed as one of the approved clinic on the ICA website – I did it myself on Wed, 13 Oct and not an issue. Received the PCR e-result about 3 hours later.

Tina

Hi, thanks for the info. May i know did you wait for the results at the airport or you collected it the next day?

LQL

Gotten the soft copy result via safe2gopass and printed it in color (was told it has to be printed in color by the test center officer) to be used for check-in. If you want hard copy result, you can collect from the airport on the same day depending on when you did the PCR test – if you have your PCR test done before 2pm, pretty sure you can collect on the same day, otherwise you can always collect on the next day. You can call the safe2gopass hotline to check and the CSOs speak good English.

Last edited 1 month ago by LQL
Tina

Thanks!

Wendy

Hello! Anyone know if it’s compile to reserve the date to do PCR test at ICN airport ? Or is there a time frame for me to book? Must it be pre book at least 3 days? Thanks in advance

Mike Yip

Just checked the K-ETA website on 5-Nov…..Singaporean is still not eligible to apply K-ETA.
I jumped the gun to book a ticket to fly on 16-Nov, as I thought it’s OK to travel from 15-Nov onwards according to the news. Didn’t know there is this K-ETA thing until today. Hopefully they will announce something next week….

Tina

Someone in this group has kindly given us the link from the Korean Embassy on VTL details less than an hour ago. Please read the Notice released by the Embassy today. SG passport holder will be able to apply K-ETA from 8 Nov onwards.

Mike Yip

Yes, just saw that too ! It seems like they just updated it a couple of hours ago. Great news though !

Tina

Yep! 😁

Vanessa

Me too 16 Nov. We will be the first batch of Singaporeans to travel to ROK so many procedures are not finalized yet. I believe it will be fine!

Kiki

I couldn’t applt K-ETA, have your manage to apply successfully ?

Kiki

hi Mike, I just booked my ticket to ROK but couldn’t apply K-ETA. You manage to apply?

David Leong

You should be able to (via the link below) if you hold a Singaporean passport:

https://www.k-eta.go.kr/portal/apply/viewstep1.do

Kiki

I manage to did it ald. Thank you so much!

Bryan

Valid ABTC holders (with Korea pre-clearance) will not require a K-ETA. https://www.k-eta.go.kr/portal/board/viewboardlist.do?tmpltNm=faq (Q19)

Lelouch

I’m going to apply for my ABTC on wednesday once i collected my new passport. not sure how long it’s going to take to get approved ;____; staying tuned for K-ETA

junmai

any idea how does VTL work for those working in the airlines industry? since they travel for work every now and then. do they have to be in singapore for 14 days prior before getting on a VTL flight?

Anon

Recent regulations suggest no

Darren

Are J redemptions blocked for December? No luck for 2pax redemptions. Not even wait list. Hmmmm.

Edm

Anyone knows if the gargle pcr test is considered valid pcr test?

KELLY

Hi Edm, Where can we do this in Sg or Korea? That woukd be much more comfortable!

colink

Aaron, not sure if you’re planning for a VTL trip to Korea yourself but to get on your radar — finding a hotel to stay at in Korea may be challenging (at least at this point). While you have no problem booking a room online now, the actual policy at check in varies across hotels. 1) Some hotels are accepting guests with PDTs from overseas, but requires guest to stay in room until the arrival PCR results are received. 2) Some hotels are only letting people check in once they can show overseas PDTs & the on-arrival PCR test 3)… Read more »

eejean

Yes this is an issue as I am flying out 24 Nov (just me, and my 13 year old), and the big issue is whether (1) there is testing in Incheon Airport, (2) which hotels let us stay until we get the test result (I am booked for l7 Myeongdong by Lotte which is a popular hote,, but no change in policy as yet). Really need clarity here :/

Tet

Did the Tourism Board say anything yet?

Siyuan

This seems to be resolved, at least for a few hotels I messaged, e.g. Millenium Hilton Seoul. They accept the Singapore PCR negative test result at check-in, then the guests wait in the room – no use of hotel facilities – until the PCR negative test result from Incheon is received.

Vivian

Hi Aaron, managed to get any updates from the tourism board? I have enquired a couple of hotels and they allow check in only upon showing them negative test result issued in Korea.

Dada

I have the same problem too with my booking at Four Points by Sheraton Josun, Seoul Station. The hotel replied me earlier that they allow overseas travellers to check in ONLY when they can show a negative result for their on-arrival PCR test or to present a quarantine exemption form. I have informed them that I’m flying in via VTL and do not have to apply for a quarantine exemption form. Yet their reply to me is if I fail to produce either of these documents, I will be denied check-in. Haiz…

Anon22

If we are Singapore citizens, do we have to do this too on our return?

“After you’re swabbed, you must proceed directly (via private transportation, taxi or private hire car) to your declared place of accommodation.
This must be an individual room with an attached toilet at a residential or non-residential accommodation. If there are non-travelling members of your household, you do not need to have the entire house to yourself- just the individual room with an attached toilet will do.”

Henlo212

Yes. If you stay alone or with another person that went on the same trip with you, then you can be in the entire house by yourself.

bent

Asiana and KE don’t seem interested in the VTL business seeing how they have not released anything with regard to their schedule yet.

S L

They have the VTL Flights. It’s just not somehow advertised in ENG version of website.
OZ is 752
KE is 645
from ICN-SIN

Sho

Hi, thanks for the great summary.
if we stays in Korea for 8 days, the PCR test on day 6 or 7 can be used as the PCR test 48 hr before departing from Seoul?

JJJ

yeah i’m wondering this too it’s quite unclear. Hoping it can cos given the flights make sense to go from Sat to Sat

Val

Yea but actually 9 days is the maximum to avoid Day6/7 test right? Because if you aim to do the test on the 7th day, then 48 hrs later will be the 9th day yea.

Dee

I’m thinking if Day 7 coincides with within 48 hours before departure… then it works. That’s just my guess and I’m planning to do this

cris

@Milelion – Seems to be the case as Day 0 is considered first day landing in KR? So 8 days will be Day 8?

Sho

the flight from Singapore to Incheon, how do you know which one is the VTL flight? I cannot find them in SQ website. Thanks

Sho

thank you!

stanley

Hi Aaron,
Thanks for the article. could you provide a official source to the non-stop flight comment? it could be the case that South Korea won’t acknowledge SIN to ICN flight as VTL and thus would not allow the quarantine exemption.
I also understand that more information will be released soon and not available as of now.

Mel

Yes, correct on this above information, I called SQ to clarify too. Any SQ flights from SG to Incheon works. but coming back must be a VTL flight.

yvonne

the safe to go apply is not able to send the code to sign up as user.

TSx

I am considering the option of transit in HK from Incheon (via OZ721) and then back to Singapore (via SQ 883). I’m guessing it will fall under Category I of the border restriction? Both VTL and Cat. 1 requires just PCR on arrival in SG, but if I were to depart from HK, no pre-departure PCR is required. Will Singapore require me to still have the pre-departure PCR done within 48 hours of departure (from my first flight?)

I’m not too sure if HK is open to transit passengers from Seoul to Singapore though.

Bryan Wang

No, you transit through ICN, then it is Cat 2 liao.

SB Lee

Such an helpful post as always.

C K

K-ETA not available for Singaporean as Singapore is currently suspended from the visa exemption.

https://overseas.mofa.go.kr/sg-en/brd/m_2444/view.do?seq=761454

Currently only available for the following 49 countries.
Albania, Andorra, Barbados, Dominica, Guam, Guyana, Holy See, Ireland, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Palau, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Slovenia, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela, Greece, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Romania, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Estonia, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia, Portugal, Poland, France, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland

Last edited 1 month ago by C K
Liz Weng

Means presumably they will reinstate SG as visa exempted country again? Or else what is correct visa to apply as tourist? Hope SG get reinstated asap so can plan out the VTL trip …

Lily

Hi is it possible to book the SIA vtl flight via expedia, booking.com etc? Or must it be precisly book under SIA web/app?

freedom

I applied my new APEC card around circuit breaker, now only left Vietnam to approve it and it does not look like it will happen…

Lelouch

omg serious? then GG to me I am going to apply my APEC card on Wednesday.
please keep me posted on your Vietnam approval.
did other countries take a long time?

Mel

Thanks for compiling the info! Just a quick question though, assuming I’m going to korea 1 – 10 Dec (10D9N), does this effectively mean I’m exempted from the Day 6/7 test, since I can take my 48 hour PDT on 8 Dec, which would also be Day 7 of my trip (Day 0 being date of arrival)?

The CAAS site states 8 or more days, but if we count the days, it seems like a 10 day trip would be possible as long as the Day 6/7 test providers and the PDT providers are the same. Would this be correct?

Val

Same thought. But i think the max should be 9 days to avoid the day6/7th test, no? Because if you aim to do the test on the 7th, 48 hrs later is the 9th day.

Dee

From Singapore airlines website, the day you arrive is day 0. I’m going 16 nov- 25 nov so technically I’m hoping my Day 7 will also coincide with within 48 hours before departure back to Singapore.

vanessa

Hi Dee, me and some friends too! We cant book the on-arrival PCR testing as mentioned here it is only meant for Koreans. I hope they will start allowing on15 Nov ;-(

Sam

Thanks for the informative post, would be really useful for my upcoming trip. I’m wondering if you have details on how we can prove our vaccination status to local shops/restaurants? From what I’ve read elsewhere, Korea also has something like TraceTogether where the shop owners would scan the QR codes of customers.

Matt

use your softcopy MOH cert. it is fine.
For their QR code, u need to be a citizen or hold a ARC card.
for us, we would need to manually check in using korean phone number (via calling the contact tracing number) or use pen and paper recording.

Schnee

Hi, where can I locate the softcopy MOH cert?

Matt

Inside Healthhub app > Covid-19 Records > Download PDF. Need to log in using Singpass inside the HealthHub app

Tina

Oh really! So, as a tourist, I can enter their shops/restaurants by putting down, perhaps the hotel’s contact number since I don’t have a local number or my email address?

Michelle Oui

Is there any update on the cost of PCR test in Korea? Will it be free or at our own expense? I tried googling it and it seems like we have to be paying on our own? 🙁

Matt

You can find the price here:
https://safe2gopass.com/price

For other local testing at hospital, the price varies between the different hospital. You would need to engage the hospital for their pricing if you are doing the test there.

Tina

It’s about S$200.

Anon22

Hi just wondering if anyone can advise on this.

If we are Singapore citizens, do we have to do 7-day SHN on our return?

“After you’re swabbed, you must proceed directly (via private transportation, taxi or private hire car) to your declared place of accommodation.
This must be an individual room with an attached toilet at a residential or non-residential accommodation. If there are non-travelling members of your household, you do not need to have the entire house to yourself- just the individual room with an attached toilet will do.”

Dyna

Try clicking K-ETA, SPR who is of Malaysia nationality is not eligible. Seems this VTL is only for Singaporeans and a handful of those from eligible countries only ?

Mike

Ya… i tried also… in fact, i tried to key in “Singapore”, also cannot… so sad… 🙁

Brian

How much will the cost of PCR test be in total in SG and Korea? I understand that you mentioned that when we arrive Korea the PCR test is free as well as the one taken on day 6/7. Can I confirm that we only have to pay 1 pcr test in Korea for pre-departure back to SG and 2 test done in SG(1 pre-departure to Korea and 1 when arriving back from Korea) ?

Lily

Does it mean for SG citizens travelling out of SG, do not need to stay 14 days in South Korea and return via VTL?

‘VTL travellers must have remained in one or more of the VTL countries in the last 14 consecutive days before departure to Singapore. If they have been in Singapore within those last 14 days, that counts towards fulfilling the travel history requirement.’

Sharon

Hi we can’t seem to apply for the K-ETA for Singaporeans now. Any updates on this?

Lily

I believe application for Singaporeans start only on 8 Nov

Jon

Hi Lily, may I know where did u come across this news? I tried finding but cant seem to find an dates or anything. I personally have booked a flight to Korea on 26th Nov and am hoping to apply asap.

Thank you!

Tina

I have booked mine on 25 Nov. Yes, just tried again, still cannot apply via K-ETA . Maybe they are not ready yet….

Schnee

Is that not just for entry into Singapore for Short-Term Visitors and Long-Term Pass Holders?

I don’t think it covers the K-ETA side of things.

Ling

Very informative, do you know if I can travel to jeju after entering South Korea with VTL?

Last edited 1 month ago by Ling
Ling

Thank you, would u happen to know the day 6/7 PCR test can b done in jeju also?

Lis

Am travelling to Seoul with family for 5 days in late November and starting to do my homework. Bit troubled by the possibility of having to isolate for a day till PCR results come in. Do you know if the Incheon Airport test centres will do on arrival PCR tests as these will yield results in a shorter time vs the public health centers? Wouldn’t mind paying to save time. Their website seems to only allow bookings from departing passengers from Incheon. Thanks.

Lelouch

possible to isolate one day? omg.. salute to you for planning family trip!
i’m considering to go alone and already find it stressful.

Jon

Lelouch, I agree. Im planning a solo trip on 26th Nov and there are so many things to look out for. The k-eta seems to be a big hurdle. When are u planning to go over?

josiah

i think we should wait for more details from the korean side. too many unknowns now, their embassy page doesnt even have any info

belle

this worries me – i planned a trip for 16 Nov and still limited details about KR side; hope they reveal information soon so it’s easier to plan

Dee

I’m going solo here from 16 Nov- 25th nov if anyone wants to meet 🙂

Tina

I am going on 1 Dec. Share with us your encounter on VTL and tips ya? 😁

vanessa

me and friends too! For now, you cannot stay in the same hotel if you and your travel mates don’t share the same residential address… you may already know.

Zach

Hi Vanessa, we cant stay in the same hotel in Korea if we do not share the residential address? Where was this info from D:

Vanessa

Hi Zach, it’s from the hotels directly. But now the authorities have eased the level 4 restrictions so tourists of different address can stay in the same room. Just confirmed with a hotel.

Simon

I presume you are also taking the SQ600 since it is the only 16 nov flight.
Is there a high chance we will need to be quarantine for 1 night on 16th since the arrival is 1530.
Does anyone know how fast they will process the PCR test when you take it at incheon?

Vanessa

I’m taking the flight too. No one knows for now!! And whether hotels are willing to take us in should we want to isolate while waiting for the results:(

Simon

I found this on the safe2go website.
RT-PCR test
2:00 PM ~ 3:00 PM—- After 6:00 PM on the same day
3:00 PM ~ 5:30 PM—- After 8:00 AM on the next day

It will be likely you need to stay one night in the hotel or airbnb before you received the results.
Recommend to check with the hotel on the arrangement.
Global chains hotel normally will have one floor for quarantine customers.

Jing

have you all tried booking airbnb? It may be possible 🙂

Karen

Hi Simon
Just wondering which test centre you booked for your PCR test in Korea? SQ 600 lands in T1 and there are 2 test centres in T1 – East and West! Appreciate if you could share your experiences too!

L A

Hi, Can I ask if you stay beyond 15 days, do you need to have another set of RTPCR test for the 12th/14th day? Thank you

Simon

No.

Panpradab Vajrodaya

as a Thai who needs a visa, may anyone tell me if i need to buy ins. prior to apply for visa as i cant find any document requirement for visa application on korean embassy site. thanks

Sam

yes not yet, they will update in due course

Ling

Did anyone try to register safe2gopass? I found not get the verification code sent to my sg mobile number.. I key in 65 before the hp number .. is this right?

Lily

it was sent to my email, but in ‘Junk’ folder, so you need to check from there.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lily
vanessa

If i remember the steps, you don’t key in 65 before your mobile number, just your hp number starting with 8/9 . There is a row (before the row you key in mobile number) which you need to choose your country code. So if you add 65 the full number is wrong already.

Adi

Is there any indication if travels to French / Dutch territories not in Europe; considered still in VTL area? Thinking about Dutch Caribbean specifically.

Understand that this is not mainstream travel route, but you can’t choose where family is.

Gneo

I tried to “registered” my inbound itinerary to Incheon, but it does not allow me to registered “inbound” flights, ONLY outbound itinerary from Incheon to Singapore. I cannot find any source for booking the PCR test at incheon airport on arrival.

John

yeah i encountered the same issue too.

Tina

I can’t even proceed further after entrring nationality. For “on-arrival” pcr test at ICN airport, did you go to Safe2go pass to register? You should be able to book your test… though i have not tried yet.

David C.

Same here, safe2go pass only caters for outbound traffic from Incheon to other countries. Hope they will add the feature for inbound traffic soon.

Suman

I think this article needs major updates. No info for expats residing in Singapore, the test regime has changed multiple times and is still unclear.

Tina

The big question mark now is does the VTL scheme apply to Singapore residents or it only applies to Singapore citizens????

sweetnie

Apply to all Singapore residents, including SPR, LTVP, EP, S Pass, Student Pass.

Tina

I just got news from 2 relatively big travel agencies in SG this noon that the ROK side has confirmed today that only Singapore citizens are allowed entry by applying ETA …. not sure where you got your info from but I surely hope yours is even more current/updated..

sweetnie

Yes, K-ETA is only for Singaporeans. Other nationalities have to apply for tourist visas.

Tina

That means non Singaporeans i.e. residents in SG can still travel via VTL to ROK by applying tourist visa? That’s a relief!

sweetnie

Yes, correct 🙂

Huh

don’t know where this information is from but ROK does not currently accept any tourist visa applications.

Last edited 1 month ago by Huh
Abcd

Is this confirmed, and if so when can SG citizens apply for K-ETA? Could you share which travel agencies these are?
I can’t find any confirmation from official sources e.g. gov websites from both SG and KR

Jodie

Thanks for this! Key update on “Korea and Singapore have jointly launched Vaccinated Travel Lanes” as it clears our doubt on K-ETA and Visa matters (please update and highlight this @milelion): * Visa-waiver agreement planned to resume (suspended as of April, 2020) Problem is of course – when? And can any of the official parties make this super clear so we can stop worrying, what the heck. I called the KR embassy and had to be faced by a grumpy receptionist saying “we don’t know anything KR hasn’t told us” + a consul website that says to update about VTL… Read more »

Leo

And at the moment to qualify for VTL travel, the only option for designated outbound flight SIN-ICN is OZ752 and inbound flight ICN-SIN is from SQ? It has to be managed by 2 airlines instead of single airline, round trip flight?

Can anyone please confirm on the above? It doesn’t make sense at all.

Thanks.

Min

Any managed to get their K-eta for their trip? It seems like Singapore is not one of the listed countries applicable to apply for K-eta on the website.

David C.

Below is the reply from ROK embassy in responding to my email query.
############
Dear Sir/Madam,
 
Korea has yet to decide whether to reinstate visa waiver for Singaporeans. If reinstated, you will be able to apply for K-ETA.
 
Please keep a lookout for the information on our website (click)
 
Thank you and best regards,
 
Consular Section | Embassy of the Republic of Korea
Tel: (65) 6256-1188 | Fax: (65) 6258-3302
47 Scotts Road, Goldbell Towers #16-03/04, Singapore 228233
Website: http://overseas.mofa.go.kr/sg-en/index.do
############

John Dee

That reply seems very contradictory to the whole idea of a mutual VTL arrangement if they have “yet to decide whether to reinstate” visa waiver. If they decide NOT to reinstate it, I think a lot of people will be very upset since no visa waiver basically means no entry for short-term tourists. We just have to wait for more information.

Lmao

Korea is just monitoring whether SG cases get better. If get worse, they may just indefinitely pause it.

Lily

very likely K-ETA application and PCR on arrival reservation only starts from 8 Nov
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/upload/eng_content/20211104_enu.pdf

Isabella

Anyone facing problems with the Self Diagnosis app? Can’t seem to snap a photo to authenticate my passport

Annya

15 days away from commencement of VTL and a few key things still not communicated officially by Korea side

– K-ETA: Can Singapore residents apply?
– On-arrival tests: Can they be done at Incheon airport? How to book these tests?
– Day 6/7 tests: Where to do?
– Self diagnosis app: Seems to have bugs (cannot authenticate passport)

I planned a trip from 16 Nov and am starting to get nervous they can’t get these things sorted before VTL officially commences.

vanessa

me too! someone please post updated info here. I will too so we can all benefit from it. thanks!

vanessa

Hi Annya, how many days will you be in Korea? If the day 6/7 coincides with your pre-departure test needed by Sg, you can refer to the MOH approved testing ctrs. Arrival day is day 0. https://www.moh.gov.sg/docs/librariesprovider5/covid-19-report/(%E1%84%8C%E1%85%A62021-325%E1%84%92%E1%85%A9)-covid-19-testing-medical-institutions(9-15).pdf

Annya

i’ll be there for 11-12 days so will need to take 5 tests! (can’t overlap the day 6/7 with the predeparture)

Zach

I will be heading to Seoul in Dec for 11 days as well so am looking forward to your updates!

Calvin

No news on tourism visa. Wanted to go South Korea via VTL dates with my wife who is a foreigner and but she is required to apply tourism visa to travel to South Korea from Singapore. Korean embassy says they still do not open tourism visa applications even for VTL as of today. And tourist visas take time to process. unfortunately it’s 2 more weeks till VTL but no news on this as well. So may mean that for now, if visa-waiver is reinstated… VTL is only for Singaporeans or resident of countries not requiring a tourism visa into South… Read more »

Tina

If this is the case, it’s so disappointing. Effectively, only Singapore citizens are eligible under the VTL scheme as we (non-Singaporeans but say SPRs) will not be able to travel to ROK if tourist visa application (including visa-waiver countries) continues to be suspended by ROK. I believe when we apply for tourist visa, they go by nationality and whether you are a PR or an EP holder in SG is irrelavant. I see a very slim chance for non-Singaporeans (residing in SG) to travel to ROK for holiday via VTL but I hope I am wrong.

Calvin

Yes, sad but true. Very misleading especially when official channels and news outlets keep saying others may apply visa… but ROK says tourism visa is not accepted

Last edited 1 month ago by Calvin
Calvin

Update, Visa application is accepted now. first few days at Korea Embassy. Subsequently visa to be handled by authorised Visa Agents only

Nafang

Is car rental considered as private hire?

Sam

Is airbnb entire house rental allowed for quarantine while waiting for the arrival PCR result?

David Leong

Hi Aaron

For ETA, do you have any details around eligibility for non Singaporean who resides in Singapore (e.g. PR)?

Regards
David

Charity

Even if Seoul is not your intended destination, you will still need to self-isolate until your on-arrival test results are released. In other words, you can’t take a train/domestic flight straight after arrival. => If I am travelling in private car directly to my destination (outside of Seoul) instead of via train/domestic flight, would that be allowed, rather than waiting at the airport for the test results?

Adam Hancock

After the test is completed, they must take a taxi or private-hire vehicle to their residence or accommodation while awaiting the results (results “should” be out by noon the day after testing).

Can I check where this information is from please? Last I saw it said that results “should be back in 12 hours”

Also – any updates on if Ep’s in Singapore can obtain a visa to enter Korea for VTL tourism?

Adam Hancock

Thanks.