In response to Prime Minister Sye-Kyun Chung’s urge for stricter social distancing measures for a 15-day period, a ban on visitors — including families of KAISTians — entering the KAIST campus was announced on March 23. This regulation is only one part (listed as #9) of the “Guidelines for KAISTians 19”, a total of 19 social distancing guidelines created for members of the KAIST community. Although the “no visitors in campus buildings” policy had originally been introduced on February 24, restricting outsider entry inside buildings and even prohibiting parents from entering dormitories during the move-in period, the current rule is a stricter version, with the KAIST administration guaranteeing more stringent enforcement of the policy.
Even before this barring of outsiders, novel preventive measures against COVID-19 within campus cafeterias had already been implemented the previous week. On March 18, tent cards covering one side of each tabletop that read “Build camaraderie by… looking out in the same direction” and “Become closer with others by sharing smiles [rather than talking]” greeted those entering the undergraduate cafeteria, KAIMARU (N11), encouraging them to sit in rows and limit conversations during meals. In addition, all campus cafeterias will implement stricter entry rules by requiring students and faculty to present their KAIST ID cards at the entrance, starting March 26.
Along with this cafeteria safety campaign, offices and research labs in KAIST have also been asked to comply with a double-shift system, in which half of the workers eat lunch in the first shift (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and the other half eats in the second shift (12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.). This is an attempt to avoid unnecessary crowding in the cafeterias, and thus, minimize COVID-19 spread on campus. Furthermore, the General Affairs Team announced a change in operation of campus cafeterias, effective March 22. (Please refer to the table below for more information.)
In accordance with the South Korean government’s social distancing advice for its citizens, the “Guidelines for KAISTians 19” also strongly discourage unnecessary outings and in-person meetings. Previous health precautions and hygienic practices, such as the use of masks, remain in effect in all public facilities and transportation modes on campus.