Covid precautions at polling stations

Elections and referenda may take place at a time when COVID-19 continues to present risks to public health. Measures taken to control the spread of the virus may change as elections approach and so the way in which elections are run may change. Please see individual election pages for any updates.

Keeping you safe

We are working hard with the government, the Electoral Commission, the wider electoral community and public health authorities to help ensure you can stay safe when casting your vote.

Polling stations will continue to be available for those who wish to vote in person or by proxy. However, all voters are strongly advised to consider how best to minimise any risk to their health (and to the health of others) as a result of voting.  It is ultimately the choice of a voter how they wish to vote.

The best way to minimise any personal risk as a result of voting is to vote by post. The next best way is to vote by proxy.  Any voter who is particularly at risk from infection should consider using one of these mechanisms.

Whilst we will do all that can reasonably be done to ensure a safe voting facility at your polling station, reducing the number of people passing through a polling station reduces the risk to a voter, subsequent voters, and to polling station staff. 

Choice of voting procedure is solely a matter for each voter. However, in these difficult times, we would ask all voters to consider how they would like to vote for forthcoming elections and referenda.

At polling stations

Voters attending a polling station will notice changes to previous voting experience. 

Polling station staff will do all that they can to keep you safe.  Please support and help them in this by listening for any instructions and following them promptly.  Failure to do so may increase risk to yourself, other voters and station staff.

The number inside a polling station may be restricted to ensure social distancing or to facilitate cleaning. This may mean that voters have to queue outside – please dress appropriately for weather conditions. If you would have difficulty queuing outside, please speak to one of the polling station staff on arrival.

Please bring a face covering to wear at the polling station and your own pencil or pen.

Please use hand sanitiser just before entering and again on leaving the polling station. Sanitiser will be provided if you do not have any.

Once inside the polling station, please observe social distancing. Wherever possible, entry and exit routes will be separated to minimise passing other people.

In order to ensure sufficient distance, voting booths may be dispersed more widely than normal. Polling station staff will direct you to a vacant booth if it is not apparent.

Please leave the polling station promptly after voting. Numbers inside the station will be strictly limited and so lingering inside may mean that someone else has to queue outside for longer. Please do not stop to converse with those entering the station.