Entry and Exit
All Singaporeans and residents of Singapore are still advised to defer all travel abroad.
Travel to the ROK
The Republic of Korea (ROK) has suspended visa-free entry and visa-waiver programmes for 90 countries, including Singapore. Exceptions are granted for specific travellers such as diplomatic, official and service passport holders, flight attendants, seamen, APEC business travellers, ROK short-term employment (C-4) visa holders, ROK long-term visa holders (issued before 5 April 2020) and those already in the ROK. For prevailing entry and visa requirements into the ROK, please refer to the Embassy of the Republic of Korea website.
All inbound travellers to the ROK will be required to serve a 14-day quarantine, with certain exemptions for A1/A2/A3 visa holders and eligible travellers who have received the "Isolation Exemption Certificate" from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Singapore prior to the trip. All foreign nationals entering the ROK via international flights will also be required to submit a COVID-19 PCR test result (in English or Korean) confirming their health status as negative prior to departure. The COVID-19 test result must be issued within 72 hours of the departure date. [Note: Children below 6 years of age at the time of entry are exempt from the PCR test requirement. However, if the guardian presents COVID-19 symptoms at the time of entry, accompanying children must receive a PCR test.]
With effect from 24 August 2020, foreign nationals who enter the ROK and are tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of entry (i.e. imported cases) will also have to bear relevant costs in whole or in part. Specific details pertaining to Singapore passport holders can be found here.
Given ongoing developments in the COVID-19 situation, Singaporeans intending to travel to the ROK should check these websites for further details and the latest information on travel restrictions, advisories and other measures imposed by the ROK government:
- Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Singapore
- Korea Immigration Service
- Hi Korea (E-Government website for foreigners by Korea Immigration Service)
Reciprocal Green Lane for Essential Travel between Singapore and the ROK
The Reciprocal Green Lane for essential business and official travel between Singapore and the ROK, launched on 4 September 2020, has been suspended for a period of three months beginning from 1 February 2021. The Government of Singapore will review the Reciprocal Green Lane arrangements at the end of the suspension period.
Safety and Security
While there may be occasional periods of tension arising from North Korea’s actions, the situation in the country remains calm. At times of increased tensions, keep abreast of the news and monitor developments closely. Remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions for your personal safety. You may also download the free “Emergency Ready App”, released by the South Korean government for more information on local emergency services, hospitals and emergency shelter locations.
In general, South Korea is a safe country for visitors, but travellers should undertake the usual precautions and be responsible for your own safety. In addition, be mindful of your belongings (e.g. passports, credit cards and cash) in crowded places and areas frequented by foreigners such as Myeongdong or Itaewon.
Public demonstrations or protests do occur but they are typically well-policed and peaceful. That said, do exercise the usual caution and try to avoid these areas.
Singaporeans should take extra precaution when hiking in the mountains, particularly at night. It would be best to go with a guide who is familiar with the route and terrain. There have been several incidents of Singaporeans getting lost in the mountains while hiking in the dark and requiring rescue assistance.
It is mandatory for foreigners to carry their passport or alien registration card at all times. Failure to produce either of the aforementioned when asked to by law enforcement officials is a chargeable offence. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of drugs can result in long prison sentences and heavy fines.
Air quality varies throughout the year, and yellow dust pollution typically peaks during Spring. Depending on the levels of pollution, the South Korean Government may advise all, particularly the elderly and those with respiratory issues, to restrict their outdoor activities. The Korea Meteorological Service Website (http://www.kma.go.kr/eng/weather/asiandust/forecastchart.jsp) does provide pollution related forecasts, though this is typically only available from March to May.
There are no special vaccination requirements for visiting South Korea. However, it is recommended that travellers are up-to-date on their immunisations, particularly for Hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus, polio (DTP) and typhoid.
General Travel Advice
Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [Updated on 14 October 2021]
Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws, customs, and COVID-19 restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.
Demonstrations do occur in major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities.
When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.
For those planning to travel, here are some tips:
- Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.
- Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.
- eRegister with us on our website (www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.
- Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.
- Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.
- Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.
- Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.
- In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.
Advisory: Email Scams
There have been reports of individuals receiving scam emails/messages purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas. These emails/messages typically originate from an email address/social media known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance. The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.
MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously. Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance. If you receive such emails/messages from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails/messages before responding to their request. It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc. Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails. Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately. Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.