Schools in South Korea's capital Seoul and its surrounding areas will close and go once again to online classes amid a worsening coronavirus outbreak, the Education Ministry said Tuesday.

The schools will be closed from Wednesday to Sept. 11, in line with the government's decision to tighten quarantine rules as the metropolitan region has seen a surge in new cases.

Cho Hee-yeon, Seoul Metropolitan office of education superintendent checks the temperature of student while back to school at Kyungbock high school on May 20, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. (Getty/Kyodo)

The decision affects schools in Seoul, and the nearby Gyeonggi and Incheon areas. High school seniors will be exempted, however.

After the country brought an earlier outbreak under control through aggressive testing and other measures, South Korean pupils and students began returning to in-person classes on a rolling basis in May.

South Korea reported 280 new infections on Tuesday, continuing a triple-digit rise in new daily cases since last week. Of those, 264 were domestically transmitted. Seoul accounted for 134 cases and Gyeonggi 63, according to health authorities.

Mass infections linked to worshippers at a church in northern Seoul, which have been blamed for the recent surge in the capital, have reached 915 cases as of Tuesday noon, up 40 from the previous day.

The country has so far confirmed close to 18,000 virus cases.