When will North Korea open for tourism? The short answer is that there is no definite answer, but as tour operators as well with our close partners in Pyongyang and at the DPRK embassy in Beijing, we are confidently looking at tourism resuming in North Korea by summer 2021.
Is there coronavirus in North Korea?
North Korea have officially stated there are currently zero cases of COVID-19 in the country. There was one incident of man who re-defected from South to North Korea via the DMZ on July 19th, 2020. This resulted on the lockdown of the border city of Kaesong for 20 days to prevent any possible spread. It’s possible to follow and track COVID-19 cases in North Korea.
What is the North Korean government stance on opening the borders?
North Korea have officially stated they will not reopen their borders until there is a readily available vaccine. However, these statements were made in early February when the scope of what COVID-19 would become was not fully realised yet, with the disease only severely affecting a few countries. As new therapeutics and vaccine candidates come to the market and our understanding of the disease continues to evolve, it is likely the authorities in the DPRK will also consider a safe and effective plan to re-open the country for trade and tourism.
There are currently more than 170 COVID-19 vaccines in development by scientific teams around the world, including over 10 in large scale phase 3 clinical efficiency trials.
How will North Korea reopen its borders?
There is no absolute certainty regarding the procedures and regulations of tourists visiting North Korea post coronavirus yet, however we are expecting travellers to provide a recent negative COVID medical certificate, and to have not travelled to a certain country within the previous month. Facemasks will most likely be required to wear during all travels.
Rumours surfaced on the 27th of October, 2020 that Chinese tourists would be allowed to enter the DPRK from the 30th of November, but on a very limited tour to only Pyongyang and Mt. Kumgang. However, this was not confirmed by any of our contacts in or out of North Korea.
When will China reopen its borders to tourism?
China’s decision to reopen their borders to tourism heavily affects North Korea as the vast majority of tourists are required to pass through China to enter and exit the DPRK. Whilst China continues to record incredibly low or zero new cases of the virus, they are currently only allowing certain visa types to reenter specifically aimed at foreign workers or family members. 14-day quarantine at specific hotels is still required. However, this is a positive step forward.
We don’t know what travel after coronavirus will look like but we will continue to update on all COVID-19 travels to various destinations and North Korea via our website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
We’ll hopefully see you soon in Pyongyang..