A service member passes by a lounge for such members inside Seoul Station in central Seoul on July 11, 2021. (Yonhap)
The defense ministry extended the toughest social distancing rules for the military for another two weeks Monday to curb a new wave of the pandemic, restricting service members' vacations and off-installation activities.
The Level 4 scheme, which was supposed to expire Sunday, will be in place until Aug. 8, in line with the government's COVID-19 guidance, according to the ministry.
Under the new measures, only 10 percent of members of a unit are allowed to go on vacation at the same time. Off-duty travels, staying out overnight and meetings with visitors are banned in principle.
The ministry also ordered military units to cancel or postpone all private meetings, prohibit nonessential events and travel, and conduct religious services online.
The measure came as the government extended the Level 4 antivirus scheme in the Seoul metropolitan area for another two weeks through Aug. 8. It was set to enforce the Level 3 distancing restrictions in non-capital areas Tuesday.
South Korea has experienced a drastic surge in confirmed cases since late last month. Earlier in the day, the country added 1,318 COVID-19 cases, the highest-ever figure reported on a Monday.
The military also reported a new case, as an Army officer stationed in the border city of Paju tested positive after showing symptoms.
The latest case brought the total caseload among the military to 1,491, including 272 sailors of the Cheonghae anti-piracy unit. (Yonhap)