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(LEAD) USFK eases quarantine rules for fully vaccinated new arrivals

All News 14:51 May 06, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with new cases at bottom)

SEOUL, May 6 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) has eased its quarantine rules for fully vaccinated, newly arrived members, allowing them access to their duty locations and other on-post activities during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period upon arrival, the U.S. military said.

All USFK-affiliated individuals arriving here are required to undergo a COVID-19 test and quarantine for 14 days. Medical personnel administer a second test prior to their release.

Under the revised quarantine policy that took effect Wednesday, those who have completed receiving authorized coronavirus vaccines can travel from their quarantine location to a duty location and engage in other on-post activities if they remain symptom free 14 days after vaccination, according to USFK.

So far, USFK has completed vaccinating around 70 percent of its population.

The move comes in line with South Korea's decision to exempt fully vaccinated citizens from the mandatory 14-day isolation starting the same day when arriving here from overseas or having had contact with virus patients.

"All USFK-affiliated personnel must continue to follow all South Korean rules, directives and laws regarding COVID-19, including all ROK government established social distancing level mitigation measures, and adhere to USFK core health protection tenets, including mandatory mask wear both on and off-installation, as required," it said in a release. ROK stands for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

Bars, clubs, off-installation gyms and other establishments that restrict entry to adults only are still prohibited for the USFK community.

On Thursday, USFK said four American service members and a dependent have additionally tested positive upon their arrival here from the United States.

The latest cases raised the total number of infections reported among the USFK-affiliated population to 853, most of whom tested positive upon their arrival here from their home country.

This photo, captured from the Facebook account of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), shows an American medic looking at the first batch of Janssen COVID-19 vaccines at Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, which the USFK introduced on March 9, 2021. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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