SEOUL, May 22 (UPI) -- Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, South Koreans who fail to keep up with government social distancing guidelines are feeling the heat from online criticism.
Several celebrities, including actress Lee Min-jung, Asian Games gold medalist Son Yeon-jae and BTS band member Jungkook have been called out for perceived lapses.
Reports surfaced that Lee and Son partied without masks at the same event in Itaewon, a neighborhood in downtown Seoul where a recent cluster of more than 100 cases formed earlier this month.
Lee's agency issued a press release Wednesday apologizing for causing concern, but the actress ultimately denied the reports, stating that she only briefly visited a friend's birthday party at a Seoul-area cafe outside of the Itaewon neighborhood.
Son's agency also said that Son had stayed at the birthday event just half an hour and took off her mask only when she took a picture and gave a gift.
Lee's leading roles in many movies have earned her widespread recognition in South Korea, while Son is a retired rhythmic gymnast who won a gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Earlier this month, BTS member Jungkook expressed regret over making an outing to Itaewon on April 25.
Big Hit Entertainment, the management company for the seven-member BTS, acknowledged that Jungkook spent a night out in Itaewon with three other idol group members around his age.
The Seoul-based label issued an apology for the band member's failure to recognize the significance of social distancing. It added that Jungkook voluntarily received a test for COVID-19, and the result was negative.