Busan is the second most populous city in South Korea, behind the capital, Seoul.

Busan is the second most populous city in South Korea, behind the capital, Seoul. (Pixabay)

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.

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. Twitter: @StarsAndStripes

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now