If you’re flying outbound from Incheon Airport, you’ll most likely need to get your hands on negative COVID-19 test results in English within 72 hours before boarding the plane. The following are my suggestions on where to take your COVID-19 PCR test in Seoul, South Korea. Of course, good luck and safe travels!
Check Airline, State, and Country Restrictions
Don’t forget to check airline and state/country restrictions. For example, the state of Hawaii is only accepting test results from the following four hospitals in Korea in order to by-pass the state’s 10-day traveler quarantine: (1) Yonsei University Health System Severance Hospital (Seoul), (2) Kangbuk Samsung Hospital (Seoul), (3) Asan Medical Center (Seoul), and (4) Inha University Hospital (Incheon). If you’re flying to Hawaii, you can read more about the testing restrictions on Hawaiian Airlines and the Hawaii State website.
Expect to Pay for Your Test Results
As far as I know, PCR tests for international flights with results in English are not completely covered by insurance, so expect to pay between 120,000 to 400,000 KRW for test results. Unfortunately, the free COVID-19 testing centers — like public health centers — in Seoul do not offer certificates that are required for flying.
Taking an Antigen Test Instead for the United States
If you’re flying to the United States, you may just need an antigen test which is considerably cheaper than a PCR test. For example, at the Incheon Airport COVID-19 Test Center, the antigen is only 24,180 KRW.
According to the CDC (Center of Disease Control, US), “passengers must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT).” Please check your airline and/or local embassy for specific requirements.
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Where can I get a PCR test in Seoul, South Korea?
For the most accurate information, you can call 1339 to find the nearest COVID-19 screening center. There are many, many places to take the test, so this list is not the end-all, be-all but merely suggestions. You can also take a look at hospitals and clinics that offer COVID-19 tests by going to the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea.
If there are any other places that you’d like to add or have had positive (or negative) experiences at, please leave a comment down below and share the wealth of information for future travelers!
And if you want to read up on the latest travel restrictions to/from South Korea, visit the post, Everything I Know About Travel Restrictions in South Korea in 2020 and 2021.
Incheon Airport COVID-19 Test Center
The Incheon Airport COVID-19 Test Center is available by appointment only and opens on weekends. The PCR test at Incheon Airport costs 120,990 KRW (without Korean health insurance) and the certificate issuance fee is 30,000 KRW. In order to get the test results on the same day, you must take the test early in the day. The Incheon Airport COVID-19 Test Center operating hours are between 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends (lunch break is between 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.)
Take note that if you have Korean health insurance such as NHIS, you will be paying the same price as the locals or Korean nationals.
You can call the center at 032-741-9000 to make an appointment. Online registration is also available. The Incheon Airport COVID-19 Test Center is located at the parking lot on the west side of the 1st basement floor of Terminal 2 (in front of the pass issuance office).
Please do not wait until the last minute to book your appointment! Appointment slots are limited and are often booked a week ahead. And obviously, bring your passport with you.
Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital
One of the cheaper options in Seoul, you can also take the COVID-19 PCR test at Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital (59 Daesagwan-ro, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul). Their phone number is 02-709-9058. The cost of the PCR test at Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital will be between 120,000-140,000 KRW depending on whether you hold Korean insurance. You can read more about the test certificate on their website. You must bring your passport and ARC (if you have one.)
Gangnam Severance Hospital
You can head to Gangnam Severance Hospital (211 Eonju-ro, Dogok 1(il)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul) to take a PCR test with English results ready for you the next day. You won’t need to make an appointment, but you’ll need to bring your identification (ARC and passport) as well as your flight information.
Some people have said that getting their results from Gangnam Severance Hospital can cost up to around 400,000 KRW, so definitely check out smaller hospitals and clinics if possible. If you have the time, shop around.
The International Clinic at Yonsei Severance Hospital
The International Health Care Center at Yonsei Severance Hospital (50-1 Yonsei-ro, Sinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul) also offers PCR testing for international flights with results that can usually be picked up after 5 p.m. and an English certificate ready the next day. The cost of the PCR test may cost up to 284,970 KRW depending on whether you have Korean health insurance.
The International Clinic’s reception is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. You can call the International Clinic in English at 02-2228-5800.
The pre-screening clinic for a COVID-19 test is open by appointment from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. You can make an appointment directly on their Korean website, Hawaii Visitor Pre-screening Program.
Kangbuk Samsung Hospital
Kangbuk Samsung Hospital (29 Saemunan-ro, Gyonam-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul) may cost up to 400,000 KRW for the COVID-19 test. The International Health Services department can be contacted by phone at 02-2001-5100 or e-mail at email@example.com. You can also make an online reservation. Operating hours are between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays only.
Samsung Medical Center
Samsung Medical Center (81 Irwon-ro, Irwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul) also offers the COVID-19 test with English results within 24 hours. The cost may be up to 400,000 KRW. To speak to hospital staff in English, you can call 02-3410-0200 or e-mail the International Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also fill out their online form.