US Forces Korea places city of Busan off-limits, citing coronavirus surge
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The South Korean port city of Busan will be off-limits to all U.S. military personnel starting 6 p.m. Saturday, U.S. Forces Korea announced in a statement Friday.
“Due to the continued rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases and increased incidence rates in Busan,” the announcement states, “and out of an abundance of caution to protect the force,” all travel to or within Busan is off-limits.
COVID-19 is the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
Exceptions are made for residents of Busan and for individuals on official and necessary duties, according to the statement. Also, “bubble-to-bubble” travel for Busan residents remains authorized to other USFK installations.
Busan, the second most populous city in South Korea, joins the capital, Seoul, as off-limits to U.S. military personnel on the peninsula.
Seoul on Friday imposed an order closing businesses overnight between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., according to a news release.
“The flame of [of COVID-19] is spreading wildly in the city now,” the release states. “The city is getting into a desperately dangerous situation.”
Seoul reported 167 new coronavirus infections Friday. The city accounts for about one-quarter of the 36,000 active cases in South Korea, according to the Central Disease Control Headquarters website.