Tips

How Is My Quarantine Life in Korea? (Part 1)


by CPOHealth - September 3, 2020


Disclaimer:

This content is based on my personal experience, which should not be used as advice for your travel routine. Each country and quarantine facility may have different travel rules and protocols.

08/22/2020 First Day of Quarantine

8/22, 10:00 pm: The first day we arrived at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Our first test (also known as a swab nasal test) as well as another temperature check-up was conducted immediately at the front door of the hotel after passengers unloaded their luggage. The facility staff asked guests to fill in different documents and download the Self Diagnose App (the app downloaded at the airport was deleted). Then we proceeded to payment. Visa or Mastercard is accepted and the price is US $150 per person per day. So, US $300 is charged per couple per day, whether we choose to stay in one room or two. A total of 14 days of government quarantine is mandatory; so, for instance, we checked into the hotel on 08/22/2020 and the quarantine starts from the date of entry and ends 15 days later, so we can leave on 09/05/2020.

8/22, 10:30 pm: We had our first dinner at the facility. The food was cold, but we were grateful that we had arrived safely.

“Thank you to all the frontline workers at the airports and facility!”

Questions and Answers:

Question: How is the COVID test? Is it painful or awful?

Answer: No, not at all. I am a sensitive person who fears pain. A medical professional asked me to open my mouth so he could put a swab in it. The next thing I knew, it was done. It was so quick that I didn’t even notice it. Then he placed another swab into my nose. That was not a pleasant experience but I would describe it as uncomfortable, not painful.

Question:How many tests do I need, and is it free?

Answer:It may depend on which country the foreigner comes from. We confirmed that, currently, Canadian citizens only need to do one test after entering Korea (as long as we don’t have any coronavirus symptoms). We will be notified only if it’s a positive result.

Question: May I book or rent a place for self-quarantine?

Answer: No, all foreigners must be submitted to the government’s quarantine program. Only Korea passport holders can apply for self-quarantine at their own property.

Question: May I book or rent a place myself for self-quarantine?

Answer: No, all foreigners must be submitted to the government’s quarantine program. Only Korean passport holders can apply for self-quarantine at their own property.

Question: Do you know which quarantine facility you will be sent to?

Answer: No, we didn’t know until we were waiting for the quarantine bus. The police will tell you which hotel you are going to and how far away it is.

Question: How long is the quarantine and how do I count the days?

Answer: 14 days of quarantine are required. It starts from your first date of entry; if you entered the facility on 07/01/2020, your quarantine period would end on 07/14/2020 at midnight and you can leave the hotel the next morning on 7/15/2020.

Question: How much is the quarantine charge in Korea?

Answer: The fee for using a quarantine facility in Korea is US150 per person per night. It’s approximately KRW 100,000 per night and KRW 100,000 per night and KRW 1.4 million for the full quarantine period. It should be paid in advance before entering the facility. Also, the fee is non-refundable.

Question:How much is the quarantine charge for children?

Answer: The fee for children depends on age. If they are under 4 years old, it is free. If they are between the ages of 4 and 12, it will be at the children’s rate (50% of the adult fee). If they are over 12 years old, it will be charged as an adult at the regular fee.

Question: May I go out for a walk or a short break during quarantine?

Answer: No, you are not allowed to come out of your room, except when you are getting meals (three times a day) or leaving the waste bag in front of your door (only once per day, at 6:30-7:00 pm). There is a camera installed in the lobby. You will be watched when you come out.

Question: What supplies are provided and what is not included for the quarantine?

Answer:The supplies include a kettle, bottles of water, a few instant coffee and tea bags, a sanitary kit with masks, a digital thermometer, hand sanitizing gel, and some orange biohazard bags. In the washroom, there is shower gel, toothbrush and paste, liquid laundry soap, limited bath and face towels, toilet paper, a few clothes hangers, and a hairdryer. Tea, coffee, and milk is not provided.

Photo Credit: A camera installed in the lobby, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: A camera installed in the lobby, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: A kettle, bottles of water, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: A kettle, bottles of water, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Washroom supplies, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Washroom supplies, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Warning: Do NOT Leave Your Room, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Warning: Do NOT Leave Your Room, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Sanitary kit, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Sanitary kit, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Tips and Tricks:

• Fill out forms on the plane – the flight crew will give you the health form and arrival card when you are boarding. Complete them before arrival.

• Get an SK Sim card online – you can purchase from Krsim.net online to get a local number and unlimited WiFi data before the trip. Then pick it up when you arrive at Incheon airport.

• Instant noodles are the best food option in the quarantine hotel, as all meals served are cold and there is no microwave.

• Bring coffee, tea, and a vitamin c drink if you are a coffee/tea person, as it was not provided in the facility I stayed at.

• Pack bedding and a pillowcase if you want to sleep comfortably.

• Pack bath and face towels. There was a broadcasted announcement one morning saying there were no more bath and face towels available. You need to wash them or purchase new ones at your own cost.

Photo Credit: More forms to fill out, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: More forms to fill out, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: SK Sim card, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: SK Sim card, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Bring instant noodles and snacks, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Bring instant noodles and snacks, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Bring coffee and tea, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Bring coffee and tea, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

08/23/2020 Second Day of Quarantine

8 am breakfast: If you need extra food, you can call the facility service line, but they may tell you that you need to pay for it.

8:30 am: Daily self-check and submission

9 am: Laundry time! I did my laundry by using the bathroom sink and hung the items up to dry. It’s all hand-wash since there is no washer or dryer in the room.

10 am: Cleaning time. I sprayed and cleaned all the surfaces in the room with sanitizer, including the bathroom and all the handles, etc.

11 am: Working time – checked my work emails

12 noon: Lunch time – we brought a small pack of miso soup and canned tuna to celebrate our first quarantined lunch!

1 pm to 5 pm: Writing in my diary

6 pm: Eating dinner

7 pm to midnight: Watching TV and sleeping

Photo Credit: Daily self-check, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Daily self-check, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Hand-washed laundry, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Hand-washed laundry, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

08/24/2020 Third Day of Quarantine

• There are three announcements a day to announce food delivery to the front of your door, provided in four different languages: Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese.

• Another announcement requests for us to check our body temperature and to submit it daily.

• Ordered a ramen noodle pot from Gmarket.co.kr, but there was no information about the delivery date.

• Received a few supplies, including indoor shoes, laundry detergent, and another self-monitoring sanitary kit. These items came in two sealed bags.

• Started to create a routine with exercise in the morning after breakfast.

Photo Credit: Received extra supplies, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Received extra supplies, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Morning exercise, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Morning exercise, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

08/25/2020 Fourth Day of Quarantine

• Added photos from the trip and our quarantine room!

• Continued writing my diary

Photo Credit: Quarantine room at Grand Hyatt Hotel near Incheon Airport, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Quarantine room at Grand Hyatt Hotel near Incheon Airport, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Room view, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Room view, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Room view of Incheon Airport, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Room view of Incheon Airport, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Washroom, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Washroom, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

08/26/2020 Fifth Day of Quarantine

• The facility offered three different meal options: regular, vegetarian, and pork-free. The staff dropped the meals in front of our door and we picked it up later.

Photo Credit: Meals dropped off by facility staff, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Meals dropped by a facility staff, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Daily meal in front of the door, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Daily meal in front of the door, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Our meals were delivered, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Our meals were delivered, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: All meals came in wrapped plastic bags, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: All meals came in wrapped plastic bags, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

08/27/2020 Sixth Day of Quarantine

• Created a photo gallery of our daily meals – will be updated in the post about “14 Days of Coronavirus Quarantine Meals in South Korea”

• We were on alert over typhoon Bavi as the season's eighth typhoon, and one of this year's most powerful storms, approached South Korea last night. But it has been unusually quiet so far.

Photo Credit: Typhoon Bavi, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Typhoon Bavi, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

08/28/2020 Seventh day of Quarantine

t was a rainy morning. We just got our breakfast delivered and surprisingly it came with two small packs of 200ml Everyday Fresh milk. Here is the good news: you can make coffee—pretty good coffee—even without a coffee maker. Check out this Tiktok video for some easy coffee hacks (you might need Google Chrome or Firefox to view):

What you need:

• Ground coffee

• Coffee filters (substitute with cotton kitchen towels)

• A paper cup

• Boiled water

• A big thermos mug

• Your coffee mug

• 2 clamps might be needed to secure the sides of the cup

The secret is to cut the bottom of a paper cup into very small holes for water to drip or filter through. Put a coffee filter (with some ground coffee) inside the paper cup, then place it on top of your thermos mug. Pour the boiled water into the paper filter and it will start to brew.

A cup of hot coffee, freshly brewed, ready to serve!

@tiffanysheng76

##coffeehack ##diycoffee ##makingcoffee ##diycoffee ##quarantine ##food ##TodayILearned ##quarantinethings ##quarantineinkorea

♬ Coffee for Your Head - Vinyll

Photo Credit: Coffee hacks – what you need, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Coffee hacks – what you need, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Coffee hacks, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Coffee hacks, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

Photo Credit: Brew coffee without a maker, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram
Photo Credit: Brew coffee without a maker, @tiffany.ironfan’s Instagram

(To be continued…)

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