Coronavirus (COVID-19): North Korea Temporarily Closes Borders

UPDATE: February 9, 2024:

The first tour group since 2020 has entered the DPRK. This Russian tour group departed Vladivostok on an Air Koryo flight bound for Pyongyang, and has been described as a ‘test tour delegation’ in a cooperative effort between Russian and DPRK authorities. While great news, this does not necessarily signal an imminent resumption of tours to the DPRK. Authorities have not yet advised the industry on when wider tourism can resume.

UPDATE: January 12, 2024:

Russian authorities have announced that a group of Russian tourists are scheduled to travel to the DPRK on February 9, 2024. This tour, arranged between the Russian and DPRK governments, is set to depart from and return to Vladivostok by flight. Their itinerary includes visits to Pyongyang and the Masikryong Ski Resort. This will be the first entry by tourists to the DPRK since 2020. Whether this will lead to a broader opening of the borders remains unknown. North Korean authorities have not made any formal announcement on when tourism will resume.

UPDATE: September 26, 2023:

Media reports circulating on September 25 indicated that North Korea is permitting entry to foreigners, subject to a two-day quarantine. These reports were based on a Chinese news announcement, which cited North Korean sources. However, today, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that China ‘has not been notified through diplomatic channels by the DPRK regarding the reopening of its borders.’

UPDATE: August 27, 2023:

North Korean authorities have officially confirmed the border has opened to repatriate Korean nationals, who will undergo one week quarantine on arrival. There is no further word on when tourism will resume. Please contact us for the latest information prior to booking.

UPDATE: August 22, 2023:

The first international passenger flight from North Korea since the border closed in 2020 has now operated between Pyongyang and Beijing. It’s likely this flight, along with upcoming scheduled flights by Air Koryo between Pyongyang and Vladivostok, are to repatriate Korean nationals who have been waiting to return home. There is no further word on when tourism will resume.

UPDATE: January 22, 2023:

The DPRK border remains closed to all travel. All our North Korea tours remain scheduled, however, operation is tentative subject to border restrictions.

UPDATE: March 4, 2021:

We have received confirmation that the 2021 Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon (Pyongyang Marathon) has been officially cancelled due to the continued outbreak of COVID-19 internationally.

UPDATE: January 22, 2021:

Today marks one year since foreign travel to the DPRK was temporarily suspended due to the international COVID-19 outbreak. The DPRK border remains closed to all travel. Authorities have not yet indicated when travel restrictions will be eased or any additional protocols such as quarantine procedures and vaccination requirements. All our scheduled tours remain on standby until further notice. To keep up to date, join our mailing list at the bottom of this page.

UPDATE: February 21, 2020:

We have received confirmation that the 2020 Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon (Pyongyang Marathon) has been officially cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within China and internationally. This cancellation has been verified by the Pyongyang Marathon Committee and our partners in Pyongyang.

UPDATE: January 28, 2020:

Further protocols were implemented today to impose a one-month quarantine on all foreigners visiting the DPRK. All foreigners, including our delegation, NGO and diplomatic clients are affected by these measures.

All tourism remains completely halted until further notice. This applies in all cases even if the traveler has not visited China recently, or if their intended arrival was from Russia by land or air.

UPDATE: January 22, 2020:

It has been confirmed as at Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 that foreign travel to the DPRK has been temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

This has been verified by our partners in Pyongyang. This applies to our tourist and delegation clients.

It is currently not known how long this travel suspension will last, or what protocols will be implemented. There is precedent for border closures during virus outbreaks, with closures during the SARS outbreak in 2003 and again with the Ebola crisis in 2015. The suspensions in these cases lasted a number of months, and additional quarantine precautions were instated upon the resumption of travel.

Our future tours remain open for booking, but should this border closure affect your travel, we are giving tourists the ability to reschedule at any time or to receive a complete refund of their deposit (less bank charges) as per our terms and conditions.

We’ll be updating our social media channels with further updates.


January 21, 2020

We have received indication that the DPRK may be implementing precautionary measures to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. We are not yet informed of an official suspension on foreign travel and are awaiting further update on the situation. We’ll be reaching out to our potentially affected travelers with the latest as it becomes known.



Be the first to leave a comment forCoronavirus (COVID-19): North Korea Temporarily Closes Borders