Based on South Korea’s current COVID-19 conditions remaining favorable to their newly implemented social distancing and preventive measures, USFK decided to lower its current health protection condition from “Charlie” to “Bravo” effective Wednesday, May 20 at 6 a.m. for all areas except Area II (+) which will remain in HPCON Charlie for the time being.
USFK defines Area II (+) as the greater Seoul metropolitan area including the immediate region southward to just above Suwon; the exact boundary is viewable on USFK’s interact hotspot map located at www.usfk.mil
Authorized HPCON Bravo activities includes seated dining at restaurants, shopping and outdoor activities while maintaining social awareness and wearing a mask when 1-2 meters separation cannot be achieved.
While USFK is lowering its health protection condition and many of its preventive measures, it is not lowering its guard. Due to the associated risk, all bars, clubs and establishments that restrict entrance to adults only are off limits pen-wide to all USFK-affiliated personnel until further notice.
In addition, travel to Area II (+) - with the exception of official and necessary duties - is currently off-limits to all USFK-affiliated personnel until further notice. However, personnel residing within Area II (+) are authorized to leave that area for approved activities within HPCON Bravo areas.
USFK has been closely monitoring and assessing South Korea’s daily positive case count with the vast majority coming from off the peninsula, and despite a recent outbreak, USFK assessed the Republic of Korea’s current conditions are favorable enough to lower its HPCON status to “moderate”.
“ROK officials have done an exceptional job in effectively suppressing the spread of COVID-19,” said USFK Commander, Gen. Robert B. “Abe” Abrams. “I have complete confidence that the recent outbreak will be quickly contained and suppressed due to their proactive and aggressive measures taken so far. Our combined efforts to effectively combat this virus have been outstanding and the time is right to lower our HPCON level.”
The USFK community must remain disciplined, vigilant and adhere to the core health protection tenets that have enabled it to achieve its current level of success.
As USFK continues to monitor and assess the conditions within the peninsula, it will immediately snap back to a heightened HPCON posture without hesitation if a resurgence of the threat appears outside our installations or within our formations.
“USFK's #1 priority remains the protection of the force,” said Abrams. “We must balance the overall health, safety and protection of the force with mission accomplishment.”
USFK remains at a high level of readiness, and continues to maintain a robust combined defense posture to protect the Republic of Korea against any threat or adversary while implementing and maintaining prudent preventive control measures to protect the force.
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