The US Forces Korea (USFK) raised its health protection alert on Saturday after posting its highest weekly tally of new coronavirus infections, to 682.
The new cases bring the total number of infections to 3,027. US forces said nearly 90 percent of its soldiers, families and other affiliates were vaccinated.
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In neighboring Japan, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday the government would tighten restrictions in three regions that are home to U.S. military bases to stem a wave of COVID-19 that some officials said the bases helped fuel.
The US military’s “Bravo Plus” plan in South Korea will ban eating in restaurants outside of bases and visiting malls, bars, clubs, gymnasiums, amusement parks, theaters and massage parlors, US forces said on their website Friday.
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Travel to the capital Seoul is also prohibited, except for official functions or for people who live or work there, but activities such as shopping and church services are permitted.
“Due to the continued presence of COVID-19 within the USFK and South Korea, the USFK has increased its health protection requirements to ‘Bravo Plus’ across the peninsula,” he said. -he declares.
South Korea had reported record daily infections of around 7,800 after relaxing social distancing rules under a ‘living with COVID-19’ program in November, prompting authorities to reinstate tighter restrictions on next month.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 3,510 new cases as of Friday, bringing the total to 661,015, with 5,986 deaths.
The Defense Ministry said on Friday that 19 new infections had been confirmed among South Korean military personnel, for a total of 3,403.
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