ROK Travel Requirement Frequently Asked Questions

New ROK Travel Requirement Questions and Answers, As of 12 July 21

All travelers to the Republic of Korea must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 72 hours of their international departure. Those without a negative PCR test will be denied entry into Korea and may be placed on a flight back to their departure point. Other types of COVID-19 tests, such as the antigen one, are NOT accepted by the ROK government. At this time, the ROK government is updating its testing and quarantine requirements with regard to vaccinated travelers. Fully vaccinated USFK-affiliated personnel meeting all requirements may be approved to participate in a working ROM while in quarantine. For further info on ROK COVID-19 requirements and travel updates, visit the Eighth Army Facebook page or check the US Embassy COVID-19 Info page at https://kr.usembassy.gov/022420-covid-19-information/.

Airline passengers heading to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the U.S. Center for Disease Control website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

  • 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?
  • As of July 8, 2021, guidance set forth by USFK and approved by the Republic of Korea allows all travelers with an FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine to apply for a "working" quarantine, also called "health monitoring status." To apply for this, USFK personnel must meet the following requirements:

    • Have completed an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine series at least 14 days prior to arrival.
    • Have an original and valid COVID-19 vaccination card, DD Form 1741 with COVID vaccine series annotated, or complete vaccination series that can be verified in AHLTA or MEDPROS.
    • Have a valid quarantine action plan signed by an O-6 in their current USFK unit if already assigned to Korea, or gaining USFK unit if moving to Korea. Those without an approved QAP may submit a request upon arrival, provided one's vaccination status can be verified.
    • Agree to all monitoring and testing procedures, in accordance with USFK policy.
    • If you do not have a FDA-approved COVID vaccine, you will be required to participate in the entire quarantine process established by USFK and that meets standards agreed upon by the Republic of Korea. You will be restricted to your designated quarantine facility for the entire 14 days and will not be permitted to depart your room without permission from your quarantine facility cadre.

  • 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 the start of the international portion of travel. In example, if traveling from Dallas to Seattle to Korea, the result must be dated within 72 hours of the departure time from Seattle.

  • 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 July 1, 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. Additionally, COVID-19 testing may be a reimbursable expense for service members, as noted in Table 2-24 the JUL 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.