[FAQ] Transfers at Incheon Airport and COVID-19

Are you flying in to Korea via Incheon Airport? Or does your itinerary include a transfer at Incheon Airport?

We understand that travelers visiting Incheon Airport for the first time may be curious with questions, especially during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. So we prepared a FAQ for questions related to transfers and COVID-19!

Q1. Can I leave Incheon Airport during my layover/stopover?

All travelers must stay within the transfer lounge until getting to their connecting flight. While “transit tours” were available for passengers of connecting flights during their layover/stopover, they are currently unavailable due to COVID-19.

Q2. Is it a time limit on staying in the transit area in Incheon Airport?

All travelers are allowed to stay up to 24 hours in the transfer lounge. So, plan ahead before booking your connecting flight.

Q3. What can I do in Incheon Airport while waiting for my connecting flight?

There are transfer lounges in the east and west wings of Terminal 2. The lounge features Internet and relaxation zones, where you can charge your mobile devices and relax in reclining chairs. You can also use Incheon Airport’s free public showers, and treat your jet lag in the nap zone. There is also 24-hour cafe for those who transfer at night.

Some facilities may be shut down temporarily due to COVID-19, so make sure to visit the website and check whether they are open. Click here for location and business operation details!

Q4. What should I do to transfer from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 in Incheon Airport?

  1. Arrive on the second floor of Terminal 1.
  2. Like departure, go through security check for transfer.
  3. Get on the shuttle train on the first underground floor in Terminal 1 to go to Concourse (about 5 min).
  4. Walk 10-20 m on the first underground floor in Concourse and go through the auto transfer gate (ATG).
  5. Go to Terminal 2 via the shuttle train on the first underground floor in Concourse (about 5 min).
  • Passengers who do not have a boarding pass must go to Transfer Desk on the fourth floor of Terminal 2 to receive a pass.
  1. Go to Concourse on the third floor of Terminal 2 to get on your flight.

Click here to transfer from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1!

Q5. Do I have to self-quarantine for 14 days to transfer at Incheon Airport?

While self-quarantine applies to travelers entering Korea, passengers with a conjunction ticket can transfer without having to self-quarantine.

What if you book an additional ticket, not the conjunction ticket? Since you have to enter the general area for entry and then check back in, it is not regarded as transfer, and therefore, you must quarantine yourself. However, if you use an airline that allows you to transfer without entering the general area, you can transfer without having to self-quarantine. So, travelers booking flight tickets individually must check with their airline whether they can transfer via Concourse.

Q6. Do I need a COVID-19 PCR negative certificate when I transfer at Incheon Airport?

Since it is considered entry if you pass from airside to landside, you need a COVID-19 negative certificate and have to self-quarantine for 14 days.

However, these are regulations of Korea, and your final destination country may have different regulations and your airline different requirements. Since it varies depending on your nationality and destination, it would be accurate to check with the government agency in your destination country.

Q7. I want to know more about the required COVID-19 PCR negative certificate.

Only PCR negative certificates issued within 72 hours from the departure date are accepted. It should be issued in Korean or English. If it is issued in a local language, you must submit a copy translated in Korean or English and a translation certificate.*

(*A personally translated copy must be certified by a public notary or embassy. An officially translated copy (including certified translators) does not require additional certification.)

If you receive your PCR negative certificate via email or online, you must print and submit it so that your test results can be checked during screening.

If you depart from designated countries (countries with stricter disease control except for the UK and South Africa), only the PCR negative certificate issued by a designated test station is accepted. The certificate is accepted for other countries regardless of the dissociated test station.

Q8. Do I have to self-quarantine after entering Korea?

All travelers entering Korea must self-quarantine for 14 days as required by the Korean government. While travelers are allowed to stay in their own place, passengers must follow strict self-quarantine regulations. If you use some other accommodations where self-quarantine is possible, you must inform the accommodations of why you stay there.

Q9. Can I shop at duty-free stores after entry but before self-quarantine?

You can if you have not entered the general area. However, duty-free stores in Terminal 1 are currently shut down due to COVID-19, and you can shop at duty-free stores in Terminal 2.

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  1. Good Morning,
    I am a Guatemalan currently living in Japan. I need to do an emergency travel to Los Angeles next week and the best option in terms of cost and time is with ASIANA.

    The option is a transfer flight in Incheon (Tokyo to Seoul to LA). Time between flights is 4 hours and a Half and the ticket is with the same company.

    It is possible to do it? or do you recommend me to look for other options.

    • Hello,

      is it possible to do the PCR and AgM anti body test while transferring within 24hrs?
      Would be great to update the health status to enter another country!

      Best Niclas

  2. Hello,
    Can ask you a question? Due to current limitation of our country situation, I have to travel from UK to Seoul first and transit there, then travel to Myanmar with relief flight from Seoul.
    My question is can I transit in Incheon airport for 24 hours as my first flight will arrive early and my transit time will be more than 24 hours? I have a plan to stay at transit hotel during that time.

  3. I have a question, i came from UAE ( Philippines Passport Holder), i want to travel to South Korea then connecting to philipines, is it Possible?
    Do i need a visa?
    Or Quarantine?
    I hope u can help me.
    Thanks and Regards

  4. Hi I am a Filipino and i will be traveling from Madrid-Istanbul-South Korea on July. Just 3 hours after I arrive at Incheon airport, I have a flight to Philippines. I have to get my luggage since I booked these flights separately. Can you enlighten me if I need a transit visa or not?

  5. i have a layover for 15hrs do i need to quarantine ? or its ok to wate for my flight at the air port? going to philippines

  6. Hi my layover in Incheon airport is 37hrs, do i need visa if more than 24hr

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