Soldiers enter Munsan Station in Paju, north of Seoul, on Monday, as the defense ministry lifted a monthslong restriction on military leave the same day in accordance with the easing of the government's social distancing rules against COVID-19. (Yonhap)
The military on Monday lifted a vacation ban for enlisted service members that has been in place for over two months in accordance with the government's easing of social distancing guidelines against the new coronavirus.
Since late November, the military restricted rank-and-file troops from vacations and off-base activities under Level 2.5 social distancing rules, the second highest in its five-tier alert system, following a surge in COVID-19 cases across the nation.
Starting Monday, the guidance was adjusted to the third highest Level 2 in line with the health authorities' decision to lower the social distancing measures for the general public for the next two weeks.
Under the eased guidelines, troops will be allowed to go on vacations with various antivirus measures, such as a mandatory quarantine and coronavirus tests, in place.
As of Monday, 558 COVID-19 cases were reported among the military population.
Nationwide, South Korea added 344 more infections the same day, raising the total caseload to 83,869. (Yonhap)