Kiribati goes to polls as normal despite Covid-19 threat

Despite Covid-19 public health warnings, it's business as usual for the Kiribati election as thousands head to the polls.

Earlybird voter Linda Uan said there was handshaking and smiles as voters left the booth in her area.

She was part of a small lineup of less than a dozen voters as the booth she joined opened at 7am this morning.

Ms Uan said despite health warnings all weekend, including recommendations of social distancing and good hygiene, there was nothing different from the last elections.

She said people seemed to be more excited about exercising their right to vote rather than feeling nervous or fearful of the threat of Covid-19.

"At elections this morning there was nothing like that," Ms Uan said.

"There were announcements on public radio yesterday and last night about taking extra care, et cetera, et cetera, about Covid transmission, distancing and all those things.

"[But] there was nothing at all like that, it was just very peaceful."

There are currently no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Kiribati.

First round voting results for the 44 elected seats in the Kiribati 46-seat parliament were expected to be in by tomorrow afternoon.

The final voting round begins next week.