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USFK to raise virus warning level for all areas in S. Korea amid resurgence

Defense 21:54 December 16, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 16 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Wednesday it will raise the health protection level against the new coronavirus for all areas in South Korea following a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

Effective 00:01 a.m. Saturday, the U.S. military will heighten the Health Protection Condition (HPCON) to Charlie, or HPCON C, for all areas in the country, USFK said in a Facebook post.

Under the tightened rules, only "mission-essential" individuals will report for duty while other personnel will work remotely.

"While bubble-to-bubble travel remains authorized, USFK highly encourages all individuals to avoid travel as much as possible across South Korea," it said.

USFK said it will make a new assessment regarding the protection level on Jan. 4.

On Friday, USFK raised its protection level to Charlie within Seoul, the surrounding Gyeonggi Province and the western city of Incheon.

The decision to raise the HPCON level for all areas within the country came after South Korea's daily number of new virus cases hit the highest on Wednesday since its first outbreak in January.

This file photo shows a gate of the U.S. base Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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