Summary

Confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have been reported in the Republic of Korea (ROK). ROK officials have placed screening arrangements for travellers arriving or transiting from countries affected by MERS-CoV and individuals who display symptoms of MERS-CoV will be subject to quarantine by ROK health authorities.

For the latest information and advice visit the websites of the World Health Organisation and the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and contact your GP’s surgery before you travel if you have any further questions.

You can also ring the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare toll-free hotline (109) for the latest information in English on MERS, including medical facilities to visit. Further information is available on the Ministry of Health and Welfare website.

The typhoon season normally runs from June to November. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms. See Natural disasters

Yellow dust pollution is common in South Korea during spring months. When the concentration levels of dust particles are high, residents and visitors are advised to stay indoors as much as possible, close windows and drink plenty of water. This is particularly important for the elderly and those with respiratory problems. Follow local media reporting and the Korean Meteorological Service website for latest advice.

The level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. See Political situation

It’s not possible to enter North Korea from South Korea without special permission.

The South Korean authorities normally hold nationwide civil emergency exercises on the 15th day of the month, eight times a year. Sirens are sounded, transport stopped and some people are asked to take shelter in metro stations or basements. See Civil emergency exercises.

There is a low threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

Around 100,000 British nationals visit South Korea every year. Most visits are trouble-free.  

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.