SEOUL– Quarantine authorities on Tuesday asked the public to thoroughly comply with social distancing and other anti-coronavirus rules in the voting process for this week’s mayoral by-elections in Seoul and Busan.

By-election voting for the two mayoral seats and 19 other regional public posts is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. and last till 8 p.m. on Wednesday at 3,459 polling stations across the country.

The Central Disease Control Headquarters said in a media briefing that voters must always wear a mask while voting at the polling station, except when they take off the mask briefly for identity verification, in order to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

The state agency also urged all voters to strictly keep a safe distance from others within the polling stations and pay attention to hand hygiene, such as hand sanitization before and after voting.

“The nation is now at a critical crossroads in its effort to avert a new cycle of COVID-19 outbreaks. Thus it is important for all voters to thoroughly observe distancing and other quarantine measures,” an official from the agency said.

A year ago, tens of millions of South Koreans cast ballots in person for the April 15 general elections amid fears of COVID-19 transmissions, but only a small number of election-related coronavirus cases were reported, setting a quarantine precedent at home and abroad.

Source: Yonhap News Agency