South Koreans began going to the polls on Wednesday to elect members of parliament, wearing masks and plastic gloves as part of strict safety measures in one of the first national elections held amid the coronavirus pandemic.
About 14,000 polling stations were open at 6 a.m. (0900 GMT) around the country after disinfection, and voters were required to wear a mask and have a temperature check upon arrival. Anyone whose temperature was higher than 37.5 Celsius (99.5 Fahrenheit) was led to a special booth.
All voters must use hand sanitizer and plastic gloves when casting ballots and maintain 1 metre (40 inches) distance between each other.
The election is set to decide control of parliament and shape President Moon Jae-in’s ability to push through his agenda in the final two years of his administration, including looser fiscal policy aimed at creating jobs, raising the minimum wage, and continued re-engagement with North Korea.
Globally, South Korea was one of the first countries to hold a national election since the coronavirus epidemic began, while many others postponed votes.