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South Korea – Coronavirus Disease Update

Quarantine officer must board and conduct an inspection if the vessel falls into either of these categories.:

  • All arriving vessels that have called at ports in China and Japan.
  • All arriving vessels with crew/passengers who have travelled to mainland China and Japan.

Below is the inspection procedure:

  • No one can come on board and no loading activity can be conducted before arrival inspection by quarantine officer is completed. Free Pratique will only be granted if crew are not suspected of coronavirus and all crew are in good condition / after inspection is completed.
  • Arrival inspection conducted by quarantine officer will take about 2-3 hours at outer anchorage.
  • If any crew members are suspected of coronavirus, all activity will be suspended, vessel will be quarantined and will not be allowed to proceed alongside jetty / loading at anchorage. She must wait for quarantine officer’s decision with indefinite waiting time.

Immigration office prohibits disembarking of all crew/passenger who have travelled to Wuhan, China in the past 14 days.

All master of the ship are recommended to implement the following additional precautionary measures:

  • Carry out daily check for crew/passengers on board at least twice a day looking out for fever / runny nose / cough / shortness of breath / high temperature.
  • Isolate unwell crew/passengers when his/her temperature is above 38 degree Celsius and should also wear a protective mask.
  • Disinfect common area and rooms on the vessel before arrival in South Korean port.

With effect on February 10, the Central Disaster Management Headquarters of the Republic of Korea has decided to temporarily ban entry of cruise ships at ports in South Korea in an effort to prevent further spread and infections of the novel coronavirus. Port entries will only be allowed for fueling and provision of ship supplies WITHOUT disembarkation of personnel aboard.

Crew members can go to shore if a vessel’s last port of call is NOT Hubei, China but a Travel Record Declaration and valid mobile number must be submitted to the quarantine office via agent.

Effective February 25, vessels calling Taiwanese ports with marine crew sailing from South Korea will be prohibited from entering Taiwan within 14 days of departure from South Korea. Issuance of shore pass to Korean crew is suspended. Vessels in port must record body temperature of all crew on board during vessel’s stay in port and submit this to PHO daily. Japanese will not be allowed entry without a visa.

As of today, only travelers arriving from Europe or the United States are ordered to self-quarantine. Effective 0:00H of 1 April, all Koreans and foreigners with residence in Korea arriving from all countries will be subject to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry.

As of today, short-term travelers without domestic residence are subject to active monitoring rather than self-quarantine. Starting 1 April, all short-term travelers will also be ordered to self-quarantine with exceptions* allowed only for limited cases:

  • A-1 (diplomat), A-2 (official duty), or A-3 (agreement) visa types; or
  • A self-quarantine exemption issued in advance by a Korean Embassy prior to entry for one of the following reasons:
    – Important business purpose (contract, investment, etc.)
    – Academic purpose (international convention)
    – Other public or humanitarian purpose recognized as valid reason for exemption

Short-term travelers who do not have a place of residence or a place to self-quarantine will be allowed to use a quarantine facility provided by national or local government. In this case, the person (regardless of whether Korean or of foreign nationality) will be required to pay for the use of such facility.

The cost of testing and treatment for travelers arriving in from overseas is supported by the state. This is done for the sake of public interest, in order to protect Korean citizens and residents by preventing further spread of infection in Korea. However, since the decision to enter Korea at this state is the individual’s voluntary choice, and in order to prevent incentivizing more people to enter into the country adding more burden on the system, living expenses support will not be provided for those traveling in from overseas.

Persons traveling in from overseas who fail to comply with self-quarantine regulations are subject to imprisonment up to 1 year or fine up to 10 million won (effective 5 April) for violation of Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Act (Paragraph 1 of Article 49 and Article 79-3). Persons of foreign nationality who fail to comply may be subject to measures including deportation and entry ban in accordance with Immigration Act (Articles 11 and 46).

COVID-19 PCR test to be applied to all foreigners who enter South Korea.

If the vessel departure date is fixed within the quarantine period, people who show negative results in PCR test are allowed to leave quarantine facility earlier than 14 days . Required documents to be prepared by agency.

Effective July 6, the following are guidelines for crew changes in Korea:

  • All off signers must take COVID-19 test at the Port Quarantine Department. Cost of the test will be shouldered by South Korea government.
  • All off signers must do 14 days of quarantine.
  • Quarantine facility cost to be announced – Estimate cost USD130/day
  • Off signer who shows no symptoms can leave the quarantine facility before 14days of full quarantine. Subject to having an e-ticket for their repatriation and only to be transferred by the car arranged by Agency.
  • Vessel is not allowed to depart or leave from the port until all off signers have their COVID-19 test result.
  • Because of the sudden increase of tests among in all area of South Korea, local Port Quarantine department have no choice but to wait for COVID-19 test results that will take at least 2-3days.
  • These restrictions apply to all ports in South Korea. Above restrictions also apply to crew who want to go ashore. Only emergency situation for patients can be considered for going ashore after all above processes.
  • Above updated restrictions apply to all port in South Korea. Above restriction apply to crew who want to go ashore. Only emergency situation for patients can be considered for going ashore after following above guidelines.

Some additional information:

  • Restrictions are getting tougher and stricter as the COVID-19 situation develops.
  • A group of Russian crew came to Busan with an infection, and now all vessels coming from Russia are not allowed to have crew change operations.
  • There are delays with processing of test results because of the increase in people taking COVID-19 tests at the port and low number of health inspectors
  • Government will not let vessel sail until all off signers receive negative on COVID-19 test.

Facility isolation exemption must satisfy below conditions

  • Vessel with no record of port visit for last 14days
  • Crews who stayed on vessel over 14days continuously before port entry.
  • Crews who has no record of embark or disembark over 14days continuously before port entry
  • Crew who has no COVID-10 symptoms over 14days continuously before port entry

If above conditions are satisfied, off signers can apply for facility isolation exemption. Agency will hand over required applications to local Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Administration. Quarantine department will review all documents and inform the possibility of facility isolation exemption.

Facility cost for off signer is USD 140/day/man.

Effective July 20

  • COVID-19 (PCR TEST) is required in advance. This applies to anyone who departs from the Philippine and arrive at South Korea (including flight transfer).
  • All foreigners who are taking a flight from the Philippines to South Korea including transfer must have COVID-19 negative test result which is issued within 48 hours.
  • Results must be handed in when flight tickets are issued to the foreigner and also to immigration when they arrive at South Korea.
  • Without COVID-19 negative test results, entry to South Korea might be denied.
  • Only certificate of COVID-19 negative test results that are issued by Korean embassy designated hospitals are acceptable