No alien registration card? No national health insurance? No problem! The city of Seoul is distributing some 100,000 face masks to foreign residents who are unable to purchase them at pharmacies.
Recently, with the “5-day rotation system for mask distribution” in place, foreigners have been required to present their alien registration card and certificate of health insurance when purchasing masks. However, many foreigners are without insurance or find it difficult to purchase masks due to the language barrier or other living conditions. Therefore, this new initiative by the Seoul Metropolitan Government has been introduced to aid the situation. But before heading to a center, you should apply online here. The distribution of these masks will continue while supplies remain.
Foreign residents in Seoul with no national health insurance, or those without an alien registration card (ARC). These masks are NOT for international students, as masks are being distributed at their university. Information on university issuance of masks can be found in detail here.
There are 41 Foreign Support facilities in total which you can visit to claim your free mask. Locations include Global Center (Jongro, Southwest), Foreign Workers Center (Seongdong, Geumcheon, Eunpyeong, Gangdong, Seongbuk, Yangcheon) and Global Village Center (Yeonnam, Yeoksam, Seorae, Itaewon, Ichon, Seongbuk, Geumcheon).
The facilities are open from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Please note that they will be closed on April 10, 11, and 15 due to election day.
After applying online, bring your passport (or ARC if you have one) to a nearby center. Masks can also be received by a proxy, so in that case make sure the applicant’s passport or ARC are brought too.
Types of Masks Available
Filter replaceable-type cotton mask (with 5 replacement filters) or dental masks (5 for 1 person).
Online Application Guide
On the homepage click “Application”.
For English, change the language settings in the top right corner.
Once on the English page, click “Application” again.
Fill out the form with your details.
Click “OK” and you’re finished!
Use their map to locate your closest mask distribution center.