South Korea will run temperature checks at polling stations during next week's parliament elections

Tim O'Donnell

South Korea has received international praise for its swift and so-far successful response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, so it's not shocking to hear the country is planning to go through with its parliamentary elections next week as scheduled while places like the United States are postponing their own elections for safety reasons.

Life is slowly returning to a new normal in South Korea, but the government is averse to taking any chances, and next Wednesday's voting is going forward with precautions, reports Quartz. The National Election Commission said it will regularly disinfect all 14,330 polling stations and run temperature checks at the door, sending anyone with a temperature above 99.5 degrees to a special voting booth. Voters, who will be asked to stand more than 3 feet away from each other in line, will also receive hand sanitizer and special gloves when they enter booths.

Not everything's been figured out, though. People recovering from less severe cases of COVID-19 in special patient centers will be able to vote from there, but the country is still trying to figure out how 46,000 people who are under a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon re-entering South Korea after April 1 will be able to participate. Cho Jung-hwan, an NEC official, said it will be "difficult" to figure out a solution to that problem, as well as the fact that many Koreans living abroad can't vote at consulates or embassies overseas. "We are still trying to figure out some kind of middle ground in this clash between the right to vote and the right to public health," Cho said. Read more at Quartz.

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