BY Julie Jones | Jun 12, 2015 10:26 AM EDT
Choi Jin Hyuk, Kim Jae Joong, Kim Hyun Joong and Park Ji Bin may not be able to take the leave that is due to them while serving their two-year mandatory military duty. The recent outbreak of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) in Korea has resulted in the suspension of leave for all military personnel.
These singers and k-drama actors will not be able to visit family and friends for a while.
The new rules also mean that the families and friends of enlisted soldiers will not be allowed to attend the ceremonies of those who have completed basic training.
Kim Hyun Joong and Park Ji Bin are currently in basic training.
The suspension of leave is not the only way that the MERS epidemic has affected the entertainment industry in Korea. Fan meetings, press conferences and concerts have been cancelled in an effort to halt the spread of the disease, which originated in Saudi Arabia.
The production companies behind two k-movies have already cancelled events.
Variety reported that Twentieth Century Fox Korea called off a special showcase for the film "My Intimate Enemies," was called off and a press conference for the film "Assassination," starring Jun Ji Hyun was cancelled, citing "recent events."
MERS has affected box office sales as filmgoers avoid crowded theaters because of the fear of infection.
K-pop acts that curtailed activities include EXO and BTS.
EXO cancelled an autograph session for the fashion brand SPAO on June 7 and indefinitely postponed a concert in Busan on June 10. Ticket refunds will be made to all fans.
The boy band BTS followed their example by cancelling their second anniversary fan meeting that was scheduled for June 13.
Artists Junggigo and Mad Clown, Kim Jang Hoon and Busker Busker's Jang Bum Jun also canceled upcoming concerts, citing safety reasons.
However TVXQ will hold their concert at the Olympic Gymnastics Stadium as scheduled on June 13 and 14. SM Entertainment is taking special precautions to disinfect the concert venue. Fans are advised to wear masks and use hand sanitizer.
Hallyu tourism has also been affected by the MERS outbreak as 600 tours from Hong Kong were cancelled due to health concerns.
According to CNN, by June 11, the total number of confirmed MERS cases in Korea had risen to 126. CNN reported that 10 people in Korea who were infected with MERS have died. In an attempt to limit exposure, 2400 schools remain shut and two medical clinics recently closed.
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