Destinations

South Korea and Abu Dhabi ease travel restrictions

South Korea will open its border for quarantine-free travel from 1 April for vaccinated people and travellers to Abu Dhabi will no longer have to take a PCR test before boarding their flight.

The announcement of travel restrictions easing from Korea comes with a varied definition of what it means to be vaccinated.

To meet the countries vaccination requirements, a person has to have three doses of a WHO recognised vaccine, two doses of a recognised vaccine with the second dose (first dose for Janssen) administered between 14 and 180 days prior to travel, or two doses of a recognised vaccine and have been infected with and recovered from COVID-19 following their second dose.

For the last requirement, official health records must be provided as evidence.

Before arrival, travellers must register on Korea’s Q-CODE site to input their vaccination details, arrival and departure information, contact details while in Korea, evidence of a PCR test, and fill out a health questionnaire. Once completed, travellers will be issued a QR code that can be printed.

Travellers will have to take 3 COVID tests for entry to Korea. The first one is within 48 hours of departing to Korea, the second is on the first day of arrival and lastly a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on the sixth or seventh day.

Unvaccinated travellers will have to go through seven days of quarantine.

Insook Lee, the director of Korea Tourism Organisation Sydney said, “We cannot wait to welcome Australian and New Zealand travellers back to South Korea.

“We have noticed a pent-up demand and interest in travel to South Korea spurred on by tv series such as Squid Game, increased popularity of K-Pop, Korean beauty products and Korean food such as Kimchi appearing on menus everywhere.”

For entries into Abu Dhabi, unvaccinated inbound travellers will still need to present a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of their scheduled departure or a COVID-19 recovery certificate dated within 30 days of departure. Children under 12 are exempt.

The on-arrival PCR test at Abu Dhabi International Airport is no longer mandatory for travellers, regardless of their vaccination status. However, the testing facility remains at the airport for those who wish to take a test, for AED 40 per swab.

Though not mandatory to enter Abu Dhabi, travellers are encouraged to take the PCR test at the airport to activate their Green Pass on the Al Hosn app, which is still required to gain access to many of Abu Dhabi’s indoor tourist attractions such as malls, hotels, theme parks, and restaurants.

Vaccinated tourists can alternatively gain entry to public places by presenting their COVID-19 vaccination certificate, or by showing full vaccination status on their home country’s mobile app, as well as a negative PCR test result obtained within the last 14 days. The PCR test must have been taken in the UAE.

South Korea and Abu Dhabi join a number of other Asian destinations easing travel restrictions.

Thailand has resumed it’s ‘Test & Go’ quarantine waiver, the Philippines opened its doors to vaccinated travellers on 10 February, Bali welcomed it’s first Aussie arrivals in two years earlier in the week, and Vietnams border opened on Tuesday.



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