In relation to SHINee Key‘s military discharge, SM Entertainment released a short but sweet statement. The company told news outlet, Star Today, that he is currently on vacation leave, and will be released from service immediately without need to return to base.
Key is currently on his year-end leave, and due to the measures taken to prevent spread of the coronavirus, he will be discharged immediately without need to return to base. His official discharge date is 7 October. There will not be any other military discharge event.
— SM Entertainment
According to protocol, soldiers must return to base to be discharged before being released from duty on site. However, due to the recent pandemic, military bases have begun to take preventive measures. This allows soldiers to be discharged outside of base, provided they use their leave days up to before their scheduled discharge.
Key enlisted previously on 4 March 2019. Prior to his discharge, leader Onew was released from his duties. Minho will be discharging in November, reuniting the boys for a short while before Taemin is predicted to enlist some time next year.