Ruling party to take preemptive quarantine measures for nat’l convention

SEOUL, The ruling Democratic Party said Friday it will hold its national convention, slated for Saturday to elect its new leader, under strict quarantine guidelines mandated by the Level Three social distancing rules, the toughest in a three-tier system.

Only the most essential personnel will be on hand at the venue of the convention, a studio on the second floor of the party headquarters building in Seoul’s Yeouido while candidates for the party’s chairperson and Supreme Council members will stand by in separate rooms.

In the case of reporters and media workers, only some 10 people will be allowed to cover the event on the scene.

The capital area has been put under Level Two social distancing guidelines since Aug. 19, which ban indoor gatherings of 50 or more people and outdoor events of 100 or more people. Level Three calls for restricting all outdoor activities except for essential social and economic purposes, and gatherings of 10 or more people are not permitted.

The government on Friday announced its decision to retain its Level Two social distancing requirements in Seoul and the surrounding areas for another week despite the recent surge in COVID-19 transmissions.

Aware of the seriousness of the situation, the ruling party said it will preemptively apply Level Three rules to its national convention.

For instance, the candidates will immediately leave the convention venue after briefly taking part in the convention according to the pre-arranged schedule, it said.

Rep. Lee Nak-yon, the front-runner in the ruling party’s leadership race, will pre-record his speech, as he cannot take part in the convention due to self-quarantine imposed earlier this month for being possibly exposed to the virus at a radio station.

Several party leaders, including outgoing Chairman Lee Hae-chan and floor leader Kim Tae-nyeon, have been under self-quarantine since coming into contact with a photojournalist who tested positive earlier this week. The party officials all tested negative for the virus on Thursday night.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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