South Korea VTL Arrivals Process at Seoul Incheon: My Experience

Travelling from Singapore to South Korea? Here's what you can expect on arrival at Seoul Incheon Airport, down to the last detail.

While most of the European and North American VTL countries have fairly simple entry procedures, South Korea is a different story altogether.

South Korea has yet to open its borders to the rest of the world; in fact, Singapore is only the second country/territory to enjoy quarantine-free access (the other being Saipan). This means that travellers from Singapore can expect a “not-quite-there” arrivals experience- you can enter, but it’s nowhere as frictionless as before. 

I flew into Seoul yesterday (18 November) to cover the launch of the VTL, and here’s my end-to-end experience of the Singapore to Seoul process.

🇰🇷 BTS (Back to Seoul)
🇸🇬 Singapore- South Korea VTL 🇰🇷

Night Before Departure to Seoul

24 hours before your scheduled on-arrival test at Incheon Airport, you’ll receive an email from the Safe2Go portal prompting you to complete a pre-questionnaire.

Login to the Safe2Go portal, look for your booking and click on the green “pre-questionnaire” button.

You’ll be prompted to answer a series of eight questions, which will take at most a minute to complete.

At Changi Airport

Changi Airport check-in

During check-in at Changi Airport, you’ll be asked to present the following documents:

  • Korea Electronic Travel Authorisation (K-ETA)
    • Not required if you hold an APEC Business Travel Card
  • Vaccination certificate
    • Use the one from Notarise as it has a machine-readable QR code
  • Confirmation of on-arrival PCR test booking
    • Check your inbox for an email from Safe2Go 
  • Negative PCR test result (PDT)
    • Sample must be taken within 3 days to departure (e.g. if your flight departs at 8 a.m on 18 November, you can take the test anytime from 12 a.m on 15 November)
  • Travel insurance certificate
    • With minimum KRW 30M (~S$35K) medical coverage for COVID-19 medical treatment. You do not need to print the policy wording, just the insurance certificate will suffice. This can be requested from customer service

I highly recommend you print physical copies of all of the above before coming to the airport. Even though digital copies are acceptable on the Singapore side, South Korea, 5G nation that they are, requires physical printouts.

If you forget to do so, the Incheon airport staff can help you print physical copies free-of-charge. However, you’ll add an unnecessary delay to an already drawn-out arrivals process. 

Once your documents have been verified, you’ll receive a lanyard that identifies you as a SG-Korea VTL passenger. There’s no need to wear it now, but put it on once you land at Incheon so the airport staff know you’re travelling under a quarantine-free arrangement.

VTL lanyard

It’s business-as-usual after that. Clear immigration, wander around the shops/visit a lounge or two, then pass through security and board the plane. 

At the boarding gate, you’ll be given four paper forms to fill out. 

The four forms issued when boarding

Form #1 is a Travel Record Declaration. You’ll be required to list all countries you have visited within 14 days prior to arrival in South Korea. As stated in the VTL requirements, this can  only consist of Singapore and/or South Korea.

Travel Record Declaration
❓ What about other VTL countries?

If you’re entering Singapore on the VTL, your 14-day travel history can consist of any VTL country and/or any Category I country and/or Singapore.

If you’re entering South Korea on the VTL, your 14-day travel history can consist of Singapore and/or South Korea only.

Form #2 is a Health Declaration Form. You’ll be asked about your 21 day travel history (as opposed to 14 days in Form #1), as well as make a declaration that you’re not suffering from any symptoms of disease. My 21 day travel history included Germany, but this didn’t raise any eyebrows. 

Health Declaration Form

Form #3 is a standard Customs Form. Are you carrying more than US$10,000, do you have any fresh fruits or vegetables, do you have any items in contravention to public security or morals (heh heh), that sort of thing.

Customs Form

Form #4 is a standard Arrival Card, asking for information like where you’ll be staying and the purpose of your visit.

Arrival Card

Do note that all four forms require your exact address in Korea. It is not sufficient to provide just the name of the hotel; you’ll need the full address. Save yourself (and everyone behind you in the queue) some time by filling this out on the plane. 

You will also need to provide a local contact number; if you don’t have a Korean number, the hotel’s phone number is fine. 

If you plan to change hotels during your stay, provide the details of the first hotel you’ll be staying at. 

On arrival at Seoul Incheon

Arrival at Seoul Incheon

After disembarking from the plane, take a deep breath. You’ll now start the arrivals process for VTL travellers, which may take up to two hours. 

Arrival at Seoul Incheon

Keep in mind that I visited during the first week of the VTL, and was seated in the last row of Economy Class, so hopefully my data point represents the upper limit of what you can expect to encounter. 

A few pointers before we talk about the exact process:

  • Use the toilet before you land. Because of all the document checking, queues are going to be long. The last thing you want to do is lose 30 minutes of your time for a 5 minute trip to the toilet
  • If you see a queue forming, don’t try and skip it by using the travelator- you’ll just get sent straight to the back
  • There is no special queue for APEC Business Travel Card holders; everyone from Singapore goes through the exact same process
  • The arrivals area is not “sterile”, in the sense that passengers from non-quarantine free flights will be here too. Wear your lanyard prominently, it’s the only way the airport staff know you’re a VTL passenger

For reference, I disembarked from SQ600 at 3.16 p.m.

(1) Check Vaccination Cert & PDT

Station #1: Vaccine Cert & PDT Check
Station #1: Check Vaccination Cert & PDT
Joined Queue 3.20 p.m
Finished Station 3.41 p.m
Approx. Time 21 mins

Immediately after disembarking the plane, you’ll be identified by your VTL lanyard and directed to a queue for checking vaccination certificates and PDTs. 

Before you reach the head of the line, a staff member will take your temperature and use the Korean COOV app (which you don’t need to install) to scan the QR code on your Notarise vaccination certificate. This, by the way, is why you can’t use the HealthHub vaccination certificate- it doesn’t have a QR code to scan. 

Document checking stations (on right)

Once you reach the head of the queue, you’ll be directed to a table where:

  • your negative PCR test result slip will be inspected and taken from you
  • your Health Declaration Form will be inspected and taken from you
  • your Travel Record Declaration Form will be inspected, stamped and returned to you
  • your vaccination certificate inspected and returned to you.

A PCR sticker will be stuck on your passport. Be careful with this, as it proves you’re exempt from quarantine. You’ll need it for the next few stations, to board the train at the very end (should you wish to ride the AREX- more on that later), and check-in to your hotel. 

PCR sticker

You’ll also be given a sheet of paper with general information on visiting Korea via the VTL (they call it a “Travel Bubble”; have they learned nothing?). This basically reiterates your post-arrival responsibilities, namely:

  • Report your daily health status via the Self-Check mobile app for the duration of your stay or 14 days, whichever is shorter
  • Take a PCR test on Day 6 or 7 if your stay in Korea is eight days or longer
Travel bubble information

You will also get a stamp on your Travel Record Declaration form, required for the next step.

Certified Travel Record Declaration form

(2) Check Travel Record Declaration & K-ETA

Station #2: Travel Record Declaration & K-ETA Check
Station #2: Check Travel Record Declaration & K-ETA
Joined Queue 3.43 p.m
Finished Station 4.11 p.m
Approx. Time 28 mins

At the next station, present your K-ETA or APEC Business Travel Card, plus the documents from the previous step. 

Once verified, you will be given a document labelled “Restriction Order on the Scope of Activities”. This basically informs you of your obligation to comply with the relevant guidelines and the penalties for non-compliance.

Restriction Order

The officer will ask you to sign a form certifying your receipt of and agreement with this Restriction Order.

(3) Clear Immigration

Station #3: Immigration
Station #3: Clear Immigration
Joined Queue 4.11 p.m
Finished Station 4.21 p.m
Approx. Time 10 mins

Immigration is the same as it always was. Remove your mask, smile for the camera, scan your index fingers, and hand them your Arrival Card (mine was returned to me, presumably because I have an APEC Business Travel Card and cardholders are usually not required to fill arrival cards). 

You’ll receive a small slip of square paper with your entry confirmation. This takes the place of the usual passport stamp. 

Entry confirmation

(4) Collect Luggage

Station #4: Collect Luggage
Station #4: Collect Luggage
Joined Queue 4.22 p.m
Finished Station 4.25 p.m
Approx. Time 3 mins

After immigration, proceed to collect your luggage. Due to the time required to finish all the previous steps, your bag will almost certainly be on the belt waiting for you. 

Claim your bag, pass the Customs Form to the guard, then exit the secure area. 

(5) On-arrival Test

Welcome wagon
Station #5: On-arrival Test
Joined Queue 4.27 p.m
Finished Station 4.55 p.m
Approx. Time 28 minutes

There’s just one final step before you can leave the airport: take the on-arrival PCR test. 

Since I visited Seoul in the first week of the VTL, the Korean Tourism Organisation was out in full force with the charm offensive. As soon as we left the secure area, travellers from Singapore were greeted by ladies wearing traditional Korean garments, as well as various mascots. Goody bags were issued, and photo taking is more than encouraged. 

Wanted to give the Vulcan salute but figured no one would get it
Goody bag from KTO, containing masks, hand sanitiser, wet wipes, hand cream

A VTL Guide (identifiable by their blue jackets with “Vaccinated Travel Lane” on the back) received all arriving passengers from Singapore, requesting that they wait for a chaperone to escort them to the West or East test centre.

VTL guide

Groups leave fairly regularly, and you shouldn’t have to wait more than ten minutes. 

❓ Got Questions?
While the standard of English was hit and miss among the regular Incheon airport staff, it’s much better among the VTL Guides. If you have any questions at all about the VTL process, your best bet is to approach one of these guys. 

If you want to buy a SIM card, now’s the time to do so. There’s a counter just a few steps away from where the group waits. 

Sim card counter

And if you need a jacket from your bag, now’s the time to get it, because you’ll be heading outside the terminal and across the road to to the swab centre (it’s a sheltered walk). 

En route to testing centre

People keep asking whether they should choose the West or East centre. The answer is: it doesn’t really matter. There’s no way you can predict which one will be more crowded, and both are a mere 1-minute walk from each other. If the queue builds up too much at one location, they’ll automatically rebalance it. 

By the way, if you’re planning to do your ART swab at Incheon just before checking in for your return flight to Singapore, you’ll come back to exactly the same place. 

West Test Centre

Once you reach your respective testing centre, you will be asked to leave your luggage outside (backpacks can be brought in). A staff member will check your booking email at the door. 

❓ What if I’m outside my appointment window?

There are two queues at the test centres: one for those with appointments, and one for walk-ins.

Here’s where it’s a bit fuzzy. Early reports suggest that if you miss your appointment window by more than 15 minutes, you’ll need to join the walk-in queue. 

Appointment windows seemed to be irrelevant for my group, however. We all had slightly different timings, but everyone was pointed to the same queue. 

As a rule of thumb, perhaps book your on-arrival test for 1-hour after landing time. There’s no way you can accurately predict how long all the previous steps will take anyway.

Inside the centre, you’ll be brought to a computer where the staff member will punch in your booking number and confirm that all your details (especially email address) are correct. 

Terminals at test centre

Once confirmed, you’ll receive a queue number to pay for your swab test.  All major credit cards (including American Express) are accepted, and the total cost of a PCR test for non-Korean residents is 174,000 KRW (~S$200). 

Swab test payment

A receipt with a bar code will be issued. Keep this for the swabbing process. 

Before you take your swab, you’ll speak to a doctor and make a brief verbal declaration that you have no symptoms, you have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past (it’s not necessarily an issue if you have, especially if you managed to clear your pre-departure PCR test in Singapore), and you have been fully vaccinated.

Swab stations

Then it’s finally time for the swab, and South Korea does things differently from Singapore. The swabber stands on the other side of a clear glass enclosure, reaching out through special arm holes to swab you. You’ll also be instructed to scan the barcode on your receipt to match your sample with your name. 

Swab process

My swabber went very deep (c’mon, buy me a drink first!), and keep in mind this is coming from someone whose nostrils have already been widened from years of nose picking.

It’ll be over in five seconds. Stay calm and think of kimchi. 

Proceed to accommodation

Once you’ve completed your on-arrival PCR test, you’re on your own. There’s no more escorts; you’re on your honor to proceed directly to your accommodation and self-isolate until the result is out. 

Your self-isolation accommodation can be a hotel, an AirBnb (confirmed here– check with your host first, of course), or with friends/family in Seoul. 

In terms of transport options, the Korean embassy advises that VTL travellers may take:

  1. taxi
  2. private vehicle
  3. designated bus or train

(3) is interesting, because I was under the impression that public transport was off-limits. Apparently not, as VTL travellers can take the all-stop Airport Rail Express (AREX). 

❓ What about the AREX express train?
I didn’t see any AREX express trains, and based on previous reports, it’s currently not operating.

I crossed the road back to the airport terminal and found the signs for the AREX. You’ll need to take the escalator down. 

Route to AREX
Route to AREX

On the walk to the AREX, you’ll see repeated reminders that it’s not for overseas arrivals.

AREX sign
AREX sign

You can safely ignore these. There’s an exemption for people with “isolation exemption certificates”, and this is meant to cover VTL travellers too (why it causes some confusion is that VTL travellers do need to isolate, although just for a few hours while waiting for their on-arrival test results). 

Besides, they wouldn’t let you board if you don’t have the proper paperwork. Remember the PCR sticker on your passport? You’ll need to show that (plus your vaccination certificate) to the person at the AREX Information Centre (just next to the gantry). 

AREX sign

He’ll then give you a blue tag for your luggage that allows you to enter the gantry. 

AREX tag

As a side note, the AREX ticket vending machines do not accept credit cards. You’ll need some KRW on you (the fare from Incheon Terminal 1 to Seoul Station is 4,150/1,900 KRW for adults/children). 

AREX ticket machines

I didn’t have any, but the attendant (who spoke great English) told me to leave my bag at the Information Centre. He opened the gantry and I went down to the platform to use this automated Money Exchange called BuddyCoin.

Money Exchange

You might think these machines are for suckers, but I found the rate to be acceptable, all things considered. My US$100 bill got me 115,000 KRW, approximately a 2% spread compared to the Google rate. Have your passport handy, as you’ll need to scan it before exchanging money. 

BuddyCoin rate

The machine dispenses notes only, and any rounding adjustments will be given to you in BuddyCoin points.

AREX all-stops train

Once I reached Seoul Station, I took a cab the rest of the way to my Aloft Seoul Myeongdong, reaching at 6.45 p.m.

There was no issue checking in once I showed them the PCR sticker on my passport- they knew about the VTL, and didn’t ask me to show a “quarantine exemption certificate”. 

Wait for Results

Even though the timetable provided on the Safe2Go portal says that tests taken after 3 p.m would only receive results the following day, I’m delighted to report they’re underpromsing and overdelivering.

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

My swab was done at 4.55 p.m, and my negative result came back at 8.25 p.m. Keep in mind again that I was seated at the very back of the plane with a 90%+ load. 

Based on other data points I’ve read, I can say this is the norm, not an exception. In other words, you don’t need to write off your whole first day! 

❓ Can I wait at the airport?

Since results seem to reliably come back in ~3 hours, some people may be wondering if they can wait at the airport, get their clearance, then travel onwards via domestic flight or non-AREX public transport.

As far as I know, the answer is no. There’s no demarcated waiting  area that I could see, and the instructions were quite clear that you should leave the airport as soon as possible. If you have other experiences, do share them in the comments

Next Steps

Once you have your negative result, be sure to drop by the front desk and inform them. 

You’ll also need to fill in a daily health report on the Self-Check mobile app for 14 days or until you leave Korea, whichever is shorter. 

Self-check app download links

Despite the poor reviews on the app store, I found it fairly straightforward to set up. The OTP came through to my Singapore number without issues, and daily reporting is more of a minor inconvenience than anything else. Just set a calendar reminder to do it each morning; it won’t take more than 30 seconds.

Daily Self-check declaration


I realise the arrivals process seems like a lot of steps, but it’s because I’ve taken pains to spell out everything in more detail than you probably need. 

The process isn’t particularly complicated, since you’re chaperoned all the way till the end of your swab test. It’s just long, and those with young kids (the Korea VTL is open to unvaccinated children aged 5 and below) will need ways to keep them entertained.

I doubt hardcore Korea fans will mind, really, and it’s a small price to pay to be able to visit.

Any questions about the VTL arrival process at Seoul Incheon Airport?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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For AREX ticket, you can get it from Klook.

Bryan Wang

Or get a T Money public transport card from any convenient store.

Bryan Wang

Hi Aaron, thanks so much for confirming we can use Arex. I will be staying at Four Point Sheraton Josun near Seoul Station, with a tunnel to connect directly to hotel (a long walk though). I used to stay there for over 150 nights back in 2015/16.


One of the best hotels I’ve stayed in Seoul. Sheltered all the way to Seoul Station and Lotte Mart is nearby as well!


Do they accept VTL guests waiting for PCR results?

Bryan Wang

To be honest, I dunno and don’t intend to ask. It was never indicated on their website and I will see how they want to treat life time platinum member in this case. Let us see… next Sat though.


Please share your experience, we are going one week after you. 🙂

Bryan Wang

Just checked in, all simple and easy! Not a single question asked. Many Singaporeans staying here.


Hey, they do! I’m already here and I have asked them beforehand. They will ask for your vaccination proof and predeparture PCR test results! (although for me I already received my on-arrival PCR results by the time I got here so I just showed them that haha)


Any idea If they allow early check in for VTL guests? 😳
I.e, those who took the red eye flight to arrive in ICN in the morning

Happy Camper

Talk about Taking One for The Team.. You deserve a medal, Aaron! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻


Welcome to Seoul. Myungdong is like a ghost town now. Many shops went out of business during the pandemic. So sad..


Is it still worthwhile to visit since many places have closed?


some closed as expected. but stil many are open. other places like insa dong, itwaewon, hanbok village area etc many shops open….


Myoungdong is literally dead.. insadong, itaewon (hannamdomg) are still alive, yes.


Only global brand stores such as Nike, Zara, ABC mart are open. Personally I wouldn’t recommend visiting unless you like department stores such as Lotte & Shinsege nearby.


How about the numerous restaurants? I have fond memories of good food there.


Restaurants are faring better than shops but I found most of them favoured by tourists have closed down.. mostly the ones regularly visited by Korean locals were fully open.


What about the famous street food stalls in Myeongdong? It’s so bustling and busy pre-pandemic. Are there many stalls still operating now or mostly closed?


Food stalls mostly closed.. Aaron just posted his Seoul trip pics. Have a look. It’s even more empty on weekdays.

Ck Koh

6/7 testing where Shd we go ? Once done what must we do ?


Hi, how do you take your temperature everyday to update the self check app?
Do you need to bring a thermometer along?


No one really checks…when outside in any of the shops/restaurants there are temp checks at entrance – you can just note that down and log the entry


Man that amount of paranoia. The world needs less of this, more so when we are talking so much about unity and equality. Anyway thanks a lot Aaron for taking this for the team, I am saving my miles for Europe and USA instead, at lot less mistrust there and less discrimination.


Korea was already a nightmare to begin with before the pandemic, so really not at all surprised with this uncultured and curt bunch of people.


Woah woah woah. throwing that out kinda made you into a cultured curd thats so wobbly and ready to be squashed


6/7days PCR test where shall we do it ?
can we combine the 48hrs pre Dep PCR with this ?
when we landed consider zero day ?


Yes, the PCR tests may be combined according to the Korean embassy in SG. Arrival day is Day 0.


can do ART instead of PCR? since day arrival is considered day 0. so if 15th arrival , 16th is day 1 and return is 22th, that will be day 7 which is less than the 8 days requirement. is that the understanding? haha..


Any idea where to perform pCR test in Seoul for 6/7 day requirement ?


hi! i have recovered from covid-19. i read that recovered individuals are not eligible, may i ask how stringent are they on this?


From Korean embassy: “Individuals who have recovered from past COVID-19 infection may still be shedding fragments of the virus. As such, these individuals may still test positive when they take PCR test.   Given that there is no specific guidelines for the aforementioned group of travellers, we discourage them from travelling.   While you may still enter Korea via VTL if you test negative for your pre-departure test in Singapore, we wish to remind you that you will be placed under immediate quarantine in the event if you test positive in Korea. There is no guarantee that the discharge memo… Read more »


Hi, I’d like to know if VTL travelers can take the airport limousine (airport bus) from the airport to Seoul?


Ok noted. Thanks Aaron! Your account has been most helpful. Looking fwd to the return report and seeing how the ART test at Incheon works out, time wise.


most airport limousine are not in operation 🙁


Before fly back to Singapore from incheon need to take PDT 48hrs before flight?


Hi bros would like to ask, if 2 friends and i travel to korea together, can we isolate in the same hotel room while waiting for the PCR test result? or must we stay in seperate rooms. Cheers guys


I just arrived via VTL ytd. Had some issues at certain places requesting for QR code (Kakao or Naver)….but unable to setup since it is all in Korean. The qr code from the official quarantine app does not work in such places…


Hi. What kind of places will require QR code from Kakao or Naver?


Random places – it is korea version of “tracetogether” but they do not use this at all places like Singapore… In the past 3 days, I encountered this 3 times only – at a hypermart, an eye clinic & a shopping location. I still managed to get into these areas after some awkward sign language n filling up forms (used google translate since all their forms are in Korean)


They will just ask you to call a number at malt places as in to check-in (like a trace together) so best to get a Korean SIM card that u can dial.


Would it be ok to use roaming instead?


Tried to activate the qr code via naver but the authentication msg nv came. Seems like it doesnt work for foreigners. It’s required at most restaurants and cafes. But u can always tell them u’re a foreigner and they’ll give u a paper to write on or a number to call. Quite fuss free and haven’t been rejected so far.


Hi I wasn’t able to register successfully on the Self-Check mobile app. Says that my passport number does not match the entry list. Anyone with the same issue and managed to resolve it?


Same with me. Is it because we should only set it up once we are in Korea?


My friend and I had the same problem in Singapore – passport number unable to authenticate with same error message.. But after we cleared KR customs and was waiting for the on-arrival test, we tried again and it works fine. Do note that after initial setup, everyday (in fact everytime) when you open the app, you will see the profile highlighted as Fail (To Authenticate) again, but after submitting daily self-check, it will turn to Success (Completed).


Thank you so much! Appreciate it 🙂 Have a safe trip!


I had to cancel my initial Incheon accommodation – Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon – as they only allowed guests who are able to produce negative PCR test result, regardless of whether you’re traveling on VTL/exempt from quarantine and need to just wait for results. Ended up calling some hotels as I was thinking of whether to stay in Incheon or just start the trip in Seoul. In the end, I decided to stay in Incheon as the responses became more positive before I moved on to call more Seoul hotels. Here are the hotels that DON’T ACCEPT guests waiting in room… Read more »


Thanks for sharing. Since Aaron mentioned that we are allowed to take Arex to Seoul station, I thought of staying near that area instead. But still looking for a suitable hotel in the vicinity.


Best to check first by contacting the hotel prior to booking or an alternative is to use the Korea Tourism 1330 Live Chat as they will help you to call the hotel. Just let them know that you’ll be traveling via the SG-KR VTL and would like to check if [hotel name] will allow you to check in and wait in the room while waiting for on-arrival PCR test result 🙂


They ask us to check with hotel directly instead


Hmm guess it depends on the chat assistant then…Thought they were helpful as I had contacted them twice and both times they were able to help


I ended up booking a private airbnb apartment for the first night instead.


Hi Arron,

The media reported that an ART test is sufficient for departing and arriving in Singapore. Is this true?

Where can I do my covid test for returning to Singapore in Seoul ?


Which source media ? I thought art test not allowed .
But is intersting since u mention , anyone can share on this for returning PCR or ART test before boarding

Liz Weng

For the ART test before departure to SG, how many hours should we book before departure? Appreciate any advice 🙏🏻

Liz Weng

Ok got my answer from the test centre brochure lol


Hi Liz, could you share the brochure? As the testing facilities in the airport only open at 9am, and the VTL flight back is at 10+am, would there be enough time to do it and clear? Thanks


the airport testing centres open from 7am, extra fees to be incurred for hours before 9am.


Anyone stay around Lotte Myeongdong hotel area ? Is there any recommend clinic we can do our 48hrs PCR test ?


I have compiled a list within 30-45mins of Myeongdong subway station. This list has been matched against the list provided by MOH. The ones listed below have replied to my question about cost. Most of them are opened Mon-Fri only. Please contact the hospitals directly for more information. St Mary’s hospital – KRW 280,000 Gangnam Severance Hospital – KRW 419,000 Severance Hospital International Health Care Center – KRW 229,970 SNUH – KRW 230,000 Korea University Anam Hospital – KRW 230,000 Yes, the cost of PCR test + English language certificate (with passport information and DOB) is crazy. Since all the… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Kenneth

Thought we need 48hrs to do before boarding??
If back airport to do the return PCR test aren’t we not enough time ?
Pls advice


My intention is to do the PCR 1 day before flying, and collect the result the next day, which is the day I depart Seoul.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kenneth

How about doing it at Incheon airport which is the same clinic that did our on arrival pcr test. It’s also in English. I’m considering this…

Last edited 2 years ago by Vanessa

Yes. That is our plan as plan as well, if we don’t mind the 1.5hrs one-way trip from Myeongdong, that is.


for ART/PCR done at the Incheon Airport.. the result is sent via email. You can opt to receive a hardcopy from them on the same day or you could get the hotel to assist to print a copy in color. I also understand that there is a designated kiosk for such printing purpose.


Why don’t you consider the two testing centres, H+ Yangji and Seegene, recommended by Aaron? The costs are lower for those two centres.


I’m currently doing some research on the 2, but I didn’t see them on MOH’s approved list. Definitely options as well though.


Both are included in the list. Seegene Medical Foundation can be found on page 1, #2. H Plus Yangji is found on page 5, #19.


Just wanted to add National Medical Centre to the list – it’s walking distance from Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station or Eujilro-4-ga. They operate on Sundays as well (from 9am), which was convenient for my Tuesday flight, since you have to go back the next day to collect your English certificate. The departure PCR was total KRW 145,540. (Day 6/7 PCR registration is at a separate location of the compound [don’t register at Tent 1], and slightly cheaper at KRW 121,930.) Registration forms are mostly in Korean though (some with Chinese translations). Recommend going around 10am, especially on weekdays,… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt

is it necessary to get a korean sim card with a local phone number?


Hi Aaron, how do they notify your Incheon arrival PCR test result – text , call or email pls? TIA


Great tks Aaron, your write up was super helpful in my planning


Someone posted the costs of pcr tests for pre departure. The prices are exorbitant. I’m thinking we can travel to Incheon airport and take our pcr test at the same clinic which is also in English. Has anyone tried that?


you could do ART instead of PCR for departure back to SG.

j y

Such a comprehensive review, thanks Aaron! just realised that sg-kor flight is no longer VTL, is it the same for yours?


Didn’t have any of my docs printed when i arrived at changi airport, the staff there only asked for a hardcopy of pcr results which they directed me to their counter a short distance away to request them to print. No problem when landed as well, they didn’t ask for other documents and kept my pcr hardcopy.


Thank you so much for the detailed sharing and glad to know that time taken to receive PCR tests have reduced from day 1 of the VTL. Looking forward to it shortened further 😀

Now looking forward to your experience departing from Seoul! Enjoy the rest of your trip!


Does anyone know or have done research on where are the most English friendly locations for the PCR test in Busan? Am planning to be in Seoul-Busan-Seoul for 14 days and the 6/7th day will likely be in Busan. Thanks! 🙂


When coming back to singapore under vtl flight, can we serve SHN at hdb home instead of hotel while waiting for the pcr result?


There is no SHN under VTL, only isolation


Hi all
Just want to update that those who are staying in Myeongdong can walk into National Medical centre. It closes at 5pm. The cert will be in English and cost 141,930 won, cheaper than Incheon test.


Is this for an ART or PCR test? No need to make appointment?? Thanks for the advice.


Pcr. Walk in.
I am Not aware that ART is allowed for pre departure.


Seems different from what is stated in their website. Does it include a report in English which also shows passport number and DOB?


Yes. Collect the medical report in English on the next day


I believe professionally adminstered ART is acceptable for the pre-departure test for the VTL flight from Korea back to Singapore. You can find the info on SQ website too.

Aaron has also provided the information on his page here that ART is acceptable.


Hi I need help. The safe2Go Incheon Arrival booking test has 2 PCR tests:-
which one should I book for arrival test?

The other question which I need help is:- PDT from Seoul to Singapore, which test is allowed? ATR or PCR?

Thank you very much.




Hi all
Just want to update that those who are staying in Myeongdong can walk into National Medical centre. It closes at 5pm. The cert will be in English and cost 141,930 won, cheaper than Incheon test. Collect your cert the next day after 1pm. Don’t worry if you don’t have a local number for them to send notification to . Just go down the next day to collect it.


Hi Vanessa, will they send it thru email as well? The VTL flight back is at 1050am, so won’t be able to collect the letter in person after 1pm.. any advice?


Can refer to this page. Aaron shared info on the ART test he did at Incheon airport before his flight back to Singapore


That’s great! I’m taking the same flight timing back to SG, so will do the ART at Incheon too. Thanks Aaron!


No email. Must self collect.


Thank you for the detailed write up! If it takes approx 2 hours for that little on-arrival flights, I wonder how long it will take if more flights are added =\ your take?


For the self-check App, at the Additional Info page, when prompted to key in a Korean phone number, it keep rejecting the Korea Hotel phone number which i keyed in. Any solution?


omit ‘8’. numbered as 0212345678 (example format for Seoul number)


Everything will miraculously work in Korea, once you submit the daily health check


Hi, how long did your AREX journey take? Also, I understand that you’ve taken a taxi from Seoul station. Does this mean that only AREX all-stop train is allowed and not the subway? Thanks in advance!


Arex express train is not in operation, only resuming in Jan 2022. The regular all stops train is still available.

Bryan Wang

More update: just arrived today. Nobody whatsoever checked my insurance at all. Lol.


it was only checked upon check-in at changi airport


No one checked mine either

Bryan Wang

Also, VTL passengers can take public transportation (everything) after the PCR test.


Do you mean we can also take Airport Bus 6015 to Myeongdong?


Oh thanks, hopefully can take airport bus by the time i go in mid Dec. (Hi Bryan, can u kindly confirm airport bus is allowed when u were there? Thanks)


Airport Bus 6015 was not in operation when I was there more than a week ago.


Oh thanks, is it allowed to continue on our journey to transfer to subway line 4 to Myeongdong at Seoul Station after taking the Arex train then?


Hi Aaron, when you say that you are on your own honor to self isolate, are they very sticky about it? I am arriving in Incheon at around 7am, assuming that i clear my PCR by 8.30am, i was wondering if i am still in time for my 1pm meeting? Will all hotels provide a room for isolating clients? I have written for an early check-in but they have not replied.