K-ETA applications have finally gone live for Singaporeans, and can be done via the link above. Be sure to apply using the official website or app (Android | Apple); there are numerous look-alikes out there which charge even more (or steal your personal info, if you’re unlucky).
Details: 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.
What about non-Singaporeans?
If you’re a non-Singaporean living in Singapore, you’re still eligible to travel to South Korea without quarantine provided you meet the conditions below:
- Fully vaccinated in Singapore with a WHO EUL vaccine at least 14 days before arrival in Korea (unless aged 5 and below)
- 14-day travel history features only Singapore/Korea
- Take a direct flight by Korean Air, Asiana Airlines or Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Korea
Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a K-ETA or Visa. Citizens of the following countries are eligible to apply for K-ETA:
Before departing from Singapore to South Korea, travellers will need to book and pay for an on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test via Safe2GO, conducted at Incheon Airport.
Safe2GO previously only allowed for the booking of pre-departure tests (i.e. flying out of Seoul). However, the portal has now been updated to allow the booking of on-arrival tests.
Based on the gate that Singapore Airlines flights use, the West test centre should be the most convenient.
The cost of an on-arrival test at Incheon Airport is 174,000 KRW (S$197) on weekdays and 180,000 KRW (S$204) on weekends or holidays (you need to add the RT-PCR, medical certificate and consultation charge below).
|PCR Test for Foreigners Residing Overseas|
|Test items||Weekdays||Weekend, Holiday, Weekdays|
(From 7am to 9am)
|RT-PCR||120K KRW||120K KRW|
|RT-LAMP PCR||120K KRW||120K KRW|
|Antigen||30K KRW||30K KRW|
|Antibody||50K KRW||50K KRW|
|Medical certificate||30K KRW||30K KRW|
|Consultation charge||24K KRW||30K KRW|
After the test is completed, travellers must take a taxi or private-hire vehicle to their residence or accommodation while awaiting the results.
|⚠️ 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.|
Results will be released according to the following schedule, via the Self-Check Mobile App. The timetable is somewhat not ideal for those taking SQ600, since you arrive at 3.30 p.m and basically lose the first day waiting for your results.
|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|
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.
Recap: Singapore- Korea VTL
To recap, here’s the main requirements for quarantine-free travel between Singapore and South Korea.
|✈️ Summary: South Korea VTL|
|To South Korea 🇰🇷|
|To Singapore 🇸🇬|
|Summary: SG-ROK VTL|
For more information including flights, travel insurance options and post-arrival requirements, refer to the post below.
With K-ETA and Safe2GO bookings now open to Singaporeans, that’s two things you can tick off your pre-departure checklist for Seoul.
What’s still annoying is that numerous hotels are telling me that I need a negative on-arrival test result before I can check-in, which raises the question as to where a traveller from Singapore self-isolates while waiting for them! I’m seeking guidance from the Korean Tourism Board on this, and will pen an update if/when I hear anything.