South Korea looks into travel bubble agreement with Thailand

Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz for Unsplash

South Korea could soon open its borders to fully vaccinated people travelling from Thailand. The country is looking into travel bubble agreements with Thailand as well as Singapore, Taiwan, Guam and Saipan, according to the South Korean Culture, Sports, and Tourism Ministry. Quarantine-free travel could start as early as next month.

Under the travel bubble scheme, travellers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 would be able to travel South Korea without undergoing the quarantine. The route would be between Seoul’s Incheon airport and a designated airport a partnering country. Before entering South Korea under the proposed scheme, travellers will need to have a vaccine certificate and a proof of a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. On arrival, travellers will need to test negative for Covid-19 again.

Direct flights to and from partnering countries will be offered once or twice a week in the first phase of the scheme with up to 200 people on each flight. The number of available flights is expected to gradually increase over time.

The South Korean government has been discussing travel bubbles with Singapore and Taiwan. The Korean news outlet Pulse reports that the government plans to set up sealed routes with Thailand, Guam and Saipan.

South Korean has been rolling out its mass vaccination campaign with the target of reaching herd immunity by November.

SOURCES: Bloomberg | Pulse

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Tanutam Thawan

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.


  1. You mean Thais wouldn’t have to be sequestered in one area of South Korea for 14 nights? Require to stay in one over priced hotel the entire time. To have to test again to leave that area or have $100K of insurance? Someone needs to talk to these crazy South Koreans, they clearly don’t understand the dangers of fully vaccinated and twice tested tourists.

  2. If South Korea can do it without the 14 day quarantine for fully vaccinated tourists, why does Phuket have to “quarantine” the tourists for 14 days on the Sandbox reopening? The competition is heating up on who would be opening up its border without the cumbersome paperwork and red tapes. Phuket will not be happy.

  3. Caution with a steady progression to full opening is better than boom then bust. No one succeeds unless everyone succeeds. And any country who doesn’t accept this reality will be avoided by tourists.

  4. “The competition is heating up on who would be opening up its border without the cumbersome paperwork and red tapes. Phuket will not be happy.”

    What “competition”, FFS?

    Thailand’s “competition” is countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cambodia and there’s NO “competition heating up” there as all are either firmly closed or imposing similar “cumbersome paperwork and red tapes” and restrictions.

    Other countries from Columbia and Spain to the Seychelles or the Maldives have a very different market and the idea that if Phuket or Thailand don’t act they’ll lose out to the “competition” just doesn’t hold up.

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