ROK Travel Requirement Frequently Asked Questions

New ROK Travel Requirement Questions and Answers, As of 02 FEB 21

Effective January 8, 2021 (KST), all foreign passengers arriving in the Republic of Korea must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test obtained within 72 hours of their departure. Airlines will not board passengers without this negative PCR test result. This document provides answers to possible questions regarding this new policies. It applies to Service Members, Dependents, and DA Civilians.

  • Q1. How do I get a COVID-19 PCR test?
  • Contact the nearest Medical Treatment Facility, or call the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-874-2273.

  • Q2. What if I receive a positive COVID test?
  • At any point in the process, please notify your chain of command IMMEDIATELY.

  • Q3. Will I get reimbursed for the cost of obtaining a COVID-19 PCR test?
  • In many cases, Tricare covers COVID-19 testing costs outside a military treatment facility. More information on Tricare coverage, click here.

  • Q4. What should I do if my scheduled travel is delayed because of this new requirement?
  • (Official Travel) If you are on official travel, such as PCS or TDY, you may need to contact your Commercial Travel Office to adjust your itinerary as necessary. Your delayed travel expenses will be covered as you file your travel voucher. Contact your losing unit and sponsor to inform them of your itinerary. For after-hours CTO support, see the list of phone numbers at https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/CTO_Afterhours.pdf. Travelers can also call Army Travel Assistance Center at 1-800-582-5552.

    (Unofficial Travel) If you are on unofficial travel, such as leave, then you should contact your chain of command and let them know about your new timeline and if you need any assistance.

  • Q5. If I am performing a permanent change of station move, returning from leave or temporary duty travel and am ordered into isolation or quarantine by a public health, medical, or DoD official at a port of entry before proceeding, what allowances am I authorized?
  • (PCS) You may be authorized per diem (lodging, meals, and incidental expenses) as long as lodging or meals are not provided.

    (Leave) You may be issued temporary duty orders and may receive standard travel and transportation allowances. If lodging or meals are provided, which will be written in the orders, then per diem is not payable.

    (TDY) You may be authorized standard travel and transportation while awaiting transportation. Your temporary duty travel orders could be amended to extend the temporary duty assignment.

  • Q6: Who is required to get the COVID-19 test?
  • All international travelers, except children aged 5 and younger, are required to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in order to enter the Republic of Korea, per the ROK government.

  • Q7: Can I get a PCR test at SEATAC International Airport?
  • A growing number of airports in the U.S. with international service offer the PCR test for outbound travelers. Travelers are advised to check with those airports to see if PCR testing services are available.

  • Q8: Am I still required to quarantine upon arrival to Korea?
  • Yes, the quarantine process established prior to the Republic of Korea’s requirement for a negative COVID-19 PCR test remains in effect.

  • Q9. When must travelers get the negative COVID-19 PCR test?
  • Per the Korean government, the negative test result must be within 72 hours prior to departure

  • Q10. What happens if I arrive to Korea without a negative PCR test result in hand?
  • Airlines should stop those without a negative PCR test from boarding aircraft bound for Korea. However, those personnel not stopped by the airline need to know that the Republic of Korea is denying entry to anyone who does not have a negative PCR test result in hand when arriving. Personnel denied entry to the Republic of Korea are required to return to their point of origin, which might result in out-of-pocket costs for the traveler. As of Jan. 16, 2021, obtaining a PCR test upon arrival at airports in Korea is not currently available.

  • Q11. Where can I learn more about reimbursement for a COVID-19 PCR test?
  • Tricare has a testing coverage page here and a FAQ page here. Additionally, COVID-19 testing may be a reimbursable expense for service members, as noted in Table 2-24 the JAN 2021 edition of the Joint Federal Travel Regulation. Check your PCS or TDY orders or with your travel authorizing official (AO) at your servicing MPD before departure to see if you are authorized reimbursement.

  • Q12. What are the different types of tests available?
  • There are several tests available, which you can learn about here. Remember, the Republic of Korea requires inbound travelers to have a negative PCR test. This is different from an antigen test. Be sure to ask what type of test you’re getting and specifically ask for the PCR test in order to meet entry requirements for the Republic of Korea. To learn more about PCR, click here.

  • Q13. I’m taking leave from Korea. What else do I need to know?
  • Starting Jan. 26, 2021, travelers heading to the United States from Korea and all other countries need to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in hand. Read more about it here.

  • Q14. What information must show on my COVID-19 PCR test result?
  • A sample with key information can be found here.

  • Q15. How do I access my test result using Tricare Online?
  • Instructions for accessing test results on Tricare Online can be found here.

Please monitor the Eighth Army and USFK Facebook pages for updated information and consult your airline regarding updated information about any travel restrictions. For any additional inquiries, please email the Eighth Army G1 Team at usarmy.humphreys.8-army.list.8a-g1-ops-list@mail.mil.