US forces in S. Korea raise Covid-19 alert amid record infections
US Forces Korea (USFK) raised its health protection alert on Saturday (Jan 8) after posting its highest weekly tally of new coronavirus infections, at 682, Reuters reports.
The new cases bring the number of total infections to 3,027.
USFK has said nearly 90 per cent of its soldiers, families and other affiliated people were vaccinated.
The US military's Bravo Plus plan in South Korea will ban dining at restaurants outside the bases and visiting indoor malls, bars, clubs, gyms, amusement parks, theatres and massage parlours, USFK said on its website on Friday.
Travel to capital Seoul is also prohibited, except for official duties or for people who live or work there, but activities including grocery shopping and religious services are allowed.
"Due to the continued presence of Covid-19 within USFK and South Korea, USFK has increased its health protection condition to Bravo Plus peninsula-wide," it said.
South Korea had reported record-breaking daily infections of around 7,800 after it eased social distancing rules under a "living with Covid-19" scheme in November, prompting the authorities to reinstate tougher curbs the following month.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 3,510 new cases for Friday, bringing the total to 661,015, with 5,986 deaths.
The Defence Ministry said 19 new infections were confirmed among South Korean military personnel as at Friday, for a total of 3,403.