USFK to toughen COVID-19 quarantine rules amid another wave of pandemic

SEOUL– The U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) decided to implement tougher antivirus rules for two weeks, banning visits to bars and clubs and mandating mask wearing, amid the fast spread of the pandemic in South Korea, the U.S. military said Friday.

South Korea has seen a drastic surge in the daily COVID-19 caseload over the past several days, reporting the highest-ever figure on Friday since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. The Seoul government decided to impose the toughest social distancing scheme in the greater Seoul area starting next week.

USFK also reported a series of cluster infections from its bases across South Korea, including Camp Casey in Dongducheon, 40 kilometers north of Seoul, and the Seongnam area, south of Seoul.

“Due to the recent rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases within USFK and South Korea, USFK has implemented enhanced COVID-19 mitigation measures effective today at 12 p.m. until July 23 at 11:59 p.m.,” the U.S. military said.

Under the measure, all USFK members, regardless of their vaccination status, are banned from visiting bars and clubs across the country and are required to wear masks indoors in public areas, according to the USFK.

Travel to the metropolitan areas is not allowed, except for mission essential activities, it added.

“While we have achieved more than 80 percent vaccination rate, we are witnessing small clusters of the virus’ spread within select locations,” USFK Commander Gen. Paul LaCamera said. “To protect our communities and our mission, we are implementing an immediate, aggressive approach to preventing the virus’ spread any further.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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