US Army lifts COVID-19 mask requirement in South Korea

US and South Korean troops take part in a march in Camp Casey, South Korea, April 22, 2022.

US and South Korean troops take part in a ruck march at Camp Casey, South Korea, April 22, 2022. (Christopher Cameron/US Military)

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CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — The U.S. army in South Korea deserted the mask-wearing mandate on Monday at its services as COVID-19 circumstances proceed to say no throughout the nation.

Masks are not required at any U.S. set up or set up, though particular person commanders can implement them in high-traffic indoor areas reminiscent of gyms, commissars, libraries and comparable services, in response to a U.S. Forces Korea announcement on Wednesday. your web site.

USFK personnel are suggested to seek the advice of their crews for exceptions to the up to date coverage.

Anybody affiliated with the US army should nonetheless put on a masks whereas outdoors US services. South Korea requires individuals to put on face masks outdoor and indoors in public.

Division of Protection colleges at U.S. bases in South Korea are additionally phasing out the masks requirement as of Wednesday, although college students can select to put on masks in school or on faculty buses, in response to memos from faculty principals. particular person colleges.

At Camp Humphreys, the biggest US army base overseas, masks will nonetheless be wanted for kids ages 2 and up and workers at Colonel Dean Hess Baby Improvement Middle, stated Military Colonel Seth Graves, commander of the bottom’s garrison, in a video on Fb. Masks may also be required on the base’s medical and dental services.

The USFK reported 252 new COVID-19 infections within the seven-day interval ending Monday, the fourth straight week of declines within the variety of circumstances. The command counted 326 circumstances between April 12 and 18. It reached a weekly pandemic excessive of 1,599 circumstances between January 4 and 10.

“USFK will proceed to watch and assess the COVID-19 atmosphere and make additional changes to guard the drive and our mission,” stated a USFK press launch on April 19.

South Korea reported 80,361 new circumstances on Monday and 34,370 on Sunday, in response to every day updates from the Korea Company for Illness Management and Prevention.

The current numbers characterize a big drop from an all-time excessive of 621,187 every day circumstances on March 17 and the one-day month-to-month excessive thus far of 286,294 circumstances on April 5.

Nearly all of Monday’s new circumstances, 19,363, originated in Gyeonggi Province, house to Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Drive Base. Seoul, the capital, recorded the second highest variety of infections at 13,560.

The USFK, liable for about 28,500 troops in South Korea, lowered its well being safety standing from Bravo-plus to Bravo on Thursday, permitting its absolutely vaccinated inhabitants to go to bars, golf equipment, adults-only companies, saunas and karaoke bars. A person is taken into account absolutely vaccinated 14 days after finishing a sequence of vaccinations authorized by the Meals and Drug Administration.

These modifications come amid relaxed social distancing restrictions by the South Korean authorities. On April 18, South Korea lifted its industrial curfew, a 10-person restrict on gatherings, and a seven-day quarantine for individuals who take a look at constructive for COVID-19.

Practically 88% of the nation’s 51 million individuals acquired their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and about 65% acquired a booster dose of the vaccine, in response to an replace from the KDCA on Tuesday.

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