The spread of the coronavirus affects the entire international community, and a number of measures and restrictions have been introduced. With effect from March 14, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends travel to all countries that are not strictly necessary. The number of new cases of infection in South Korea has been sharply reduced, but the authorities continue to keep the danger level for viruses “red”. This is true for the whole country, but the city of Daegu and the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do have been particularly hard hit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has therefore issued its own travel advice for this region. The Institute of Public Health has introduced a 14-day mandatory home quarantine for all people who come to Norway, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. From April 13, South Korea has temporarily suspended visa waivers for citizens from 90 countries, including Norway. Norwegian citizens wishing to travel to South Korea must contact a South Korean embassy to apply for a visa. A 14-day mandatory quarantine has also been introduced for all South Korean travelers, as well as mandatory coronation tests for all European travelers.
Since the start of 2018, there has been new direct contact between authorities in North and South Korea, as well as between North Korea and the United States. As a result, tensions on the Korea Peninsula have been lower lately. In the past, periods of diplomatic contact have been interrupted by new tests of North Korean nuclear weapons and missiles (DPRK). The voltage level in the region can change quickly. Tensions have often been shown to increase in time around the annual military exercises under the auspices of South Korea and the United States, ie in March and August. North Korean tests and subsequent increased tensions have generally not affected daily life in South Korea.
Norwegian citizens who are staying in the country for a shorter or longer period are encouraged to register their contact information on reiseregistrering.no.
On the embassy website you can read recommendations on what the individual should do before and during a possible crisis.
- Countryaah: Seoul is the capital of South Korea. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.
South Korean authorities have developed a useful English-language app that can be downloaded to a mobile phone/tablet: the “Emergency Ready App”.
Most trips to South Korea are made without any special problems. The greatest risk is related to road traffic and traffic safety.
Risk of terrorist incidents is considered low. South Korea is regarded as a safe and secure country where bagging, pocket theft and robbery are not widespread. However, it is always best to take usual precautions.
South Korea is regularly hit by floods during the monsoon season which can cause landslides and floods. Occasionally, cyclones also occur, causing major damage along the coast. Listen to local alerts.
Especially in central parts of Seoul, demonstrations occur regularly. These are usually peaceful and are usually directed at the authorities. Demonstrations can still lead to large police raids and closed roads in central parts of Seoul.
Norwegian citizens are encouraged to have valid travel insurance
Local emergency numbers: Police 112, Fire 119, Medical Emergency 1339, Korea Travel Hotline 1330, Lost and Found 112.
In the event of a crisis or emergency, the embassy can be contacted. Contact information can be found on the Norgesportalen – Embassy website
Outside the embassy’s opening hours, the public can contact the UD’s 24-hour operating center on tel: +47 23 95 00 00 or by e-mail: [email protected]
Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.
With effect from April 13, South Korean authorities have temporarily suspended visa waivers for citizens from 90 countries, including Norway. Short-term visas (types C1 and C3) issued by the South Korean Embassy through April 5 are no longer valid. Norwegian citizens wishing to travel to South Korea should contact the nearest South Korean embassy to apply for a new visa and more information.
Long-term visas that have already been issued should still be valid for entry. Also, no changes are made to the validity of visas for people who have already entered South Korea. For current visa regulations, contact the South Korean Embassy in Oslo or the Korea Immigration Service Hotline: 1345.
With effect from April 1, a compulsory 14 day quarantine has been introduced for all travelers to South Korea. If you do not have your own place of residence, you will be transported to a separate reception center. At present, the cost per day is 100,000 Korean won, that is about NOK 900 with the current exchange rate.
All travelers entering South Korea from Europe are tested for covid-19 upon arrival. Norwegian citizens must expect an overnight stay in a quarantine facility while waiting for the result of the test. Quarantine is also imposed if the test shows a negative result.
Upon arrival, you must fill out a health declaration, you must provide information about your telephone/residence in South Korea and you must download software on your own mobile phone which is used to report your own health information. Information on procedures is provided on arrival.
Upon departure, the passport control will ask to see the passport you entered on. If a new passport has been issued in the meantime, the canceled must be presented or the new one registered with the Immigration Office.
Transfers of legal residence result in penalty fees that must be paid before departure, or possibly expulsion. An application for an extended stay must be made two months before the permit expires. The procedure for applying for an extension, as well as other useful information, can be found on the websites of the Korea Immigration Service.
Airlines are still making continuous changes to their routes, including a number of cancellations. Travelers should therefore keep in close contact with their airline.
Many countries, including Norway, have introduced entry restrictions for people coming from residence in South Korea. An overview of some of the changes can be found on Travel news powered by Iata Timatic, but the list is not exhaustive and both countries and airlines will be able to make changes continuously.
Coronavirus (covid-19): From March 14, travel advice has been introduced where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends travel to all countries that are not strictly necessary. Particularly for South Korea, the Foreign Ministry on March 6 introduced a travel advisory advising all travel to the city of Daegu and the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do that are not strictly necessary. This advice is still valid.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has introduced a 14-day mandatory home quarantine for all persons coming from abroad to Norway, even though there are no symptoms of illness. See the Public Health Institute’s (FHI) pages on travel advice and quarantine regulations.
The number of new infections in South Korea has been sharply reduced, but the authorities continue to keep the virus level at “red” (highest level of four). This is true for the whole country, but the city of Daegu and the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do Southeast have been declared a separate zone due to higher rates of infection than elsewhere in the country.
From May 6, South Korean authorities introduced what they call the “Everyday Life Quarantine scheme”. This is a set of precautions that the population should take to prevent the spread of covid-19. With the introduction of these rules, the authorities simultaneously ended the campaign for stricter social distancing. This means that institutions such as museums, galleries and gyms are again open.
The most important precautions are: Do not go out if you have a fever or are ill. Keep arm’s length away from other people. Remember hand washing and cough hygiene. Use mouthwash when in populous places.
By downloading the EmergencyReadyApp application on a mobile phone, advice will be sent from local authorities (English translation is automatic).
Norwegian travelers are encouraged to register on www.reiseregistrering.no so that they can receive information from the embassy via sms or e-mail. Also remember to unsubscribe when your stay is over.
For updated information on covid-19 in South Korea, see the Korean Center for Disease Control. KCDC has created its own hotline for people who suspect they are infected with covid-19. The number is 1339. The service offers English-language interpreting services and can provide information about the nearest place where tests are performed.
See also other information on the number of infected and advice from South Korean authorities. .
The general health situation in South Korea is good, and the standard in hospitals is good. Travelers to South Korea are encouraged to take reasonable precautions, and there are usually stomach ailments that can be brought home from a vacation or work trip. Water should be bottled or filtered before ingestion. Air quality can be very poor at times, due to local air pollution and long-range air pollution from China.
The biggest problems facing the health care system are the language barrier and the cultural peculiarities of care and nursing. However, the largest hospitals have an international clinic with English-speaking personnel who assist with medical and practical questions. In addition, there are a number of private international clinics where there are also English-speaking medical personnel.
Malaria can occur to a small extent in northwestern areas (Gyeonggi and Gangwon Province).
The Institute of Public Health recommends vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and poliomyelitis. Adults who are ground vaccinated should take one dose of refreshment vaccine for these diseases approx. every ten years. For longer stays in areas with poor hygienic and sanitary conditions, vaccines against hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, Japanese encephalitis and rabies are recommended.
All kinds of medicines can be obtained, albeit sometimes from other drug manufacturers.
The import of medicines that do not contain narcotics can be imported in small quantities for personal use if a doctor’s confirmation is required. Information on the import of medicines can be found on the local Ministry of Health website.
According to allcitycodes, the area code for calls from Norway to South Korea is +82. The time difference to Norway is + seven hours in summer and + eight hours in winter.
The Internet domain is.kr
Electricity: Normally 220 volts and 60 periods, but some older homes still have 110 volts. Sockets are the same type as in Norway. Therefore, no need to bring a power adapter.
The mobile network (CDMA) is unique to South Korea. Norwegian GSM mobile cannot be used, but Norwegian 3G phones work. Mobile phones can be rented from operators at the airport and in a number of different locations in the country, such as hotels. SK Telecom has an agreement with Telenor and Netcom and leases mobiles where you can use a Norwegian sim card. These do not always work well, and service is usually in Korean.
The currency unit is South Korean Won (KRW). Recently, the exchange rate has been well over NOK 70 per 10,000 won.
The major credit cards such as Visa, American Express, MasterCard etc. are accepted at hotels and most businesses. Credit cards can be used in ATMs marked with Global Service or “foreign card acceptable”.
Normal opening hours are for shops: approx. 10.00-22.00, bank: 09.00-16.00 (closed Saturday and Sunday), post: 09.00-18.00 (Saturday 09.00-13.00 at some offices, closed Sunday), public offices: 09.00-18.00 (November – February 09.00-17.00, closed Saturday and Sunday)
National Holidays: January (New Year’s Day), February 18 – 20, 2015 (Korean New Year), March 1, May 5 (Children’s Day), May 25 (Buddha’s Birthday), June 6 (Memorial Day for the Fallen)), July 17 (Constitution Day), August 15 (Release Day), September 26 – 28, 2015 (Chuseok/Korean Autumn Thanksgiving), October 3 (Founding Day), October 9 (Hangeul Day), Christmas Day.
Tips/tips at restaurants or other places are not common. Korean is the daily language of South Korea. Society is characterized by a hierarchical structure. If you want to say something in Korean, it is recommended that you use one of the polite speeches. The young generation speaks a little English, but the knowledge is limited.
It can be helpful to learn simple rules for South Korean customs and customs. Do not touch the head of an adult, bow easily when thanking for something, and accept and give with both hands. The relationships between people are largely determined by the hierarchy between young and adult. Therefore, always offer a seat for the elderly on the bus or subway, and generally be extra polite to those older than you.
South Koreans dress formally both in work and everyday life. Most companies require that they wear suits for work, but ties are often optional. Women should avoid wearing tops that show too much shoulders or cuffs, and high heels are common in work. The skirt length is often shorter than usual in Norway.
The winter is cold and dry, strongly characterized by cold air currents from Central Asia, but with plenty of sunshine. Spring is short with an intense flowering period. Summer is hot and humid. The summer climate is influenced by the East Asian monsoon which provides rainy season in South Korea as well. The harvest is dry and clear. Spring and autumn are the best seasons, as there are pleasant temperatures and lots of sun.
The domestic flight network is well developed. The trains are comfortable and fast. The bus network covers the whole country, but it can be a little difficult to orientate with regard to which bus goes where. The capital’s subway network is very good. There is also a “subway app” in English that provides information about timetables, making it easy to get around when you are unfamiliar.
Travelers should always carry an identification card with them. If you need help with translation or travel information, call 1330 (02-1330 from mobile outside Seoul). A bilingual operator will help you.