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Singapore to make travellers wear electronic tags to enforce quarantine

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Singapore to make travellers wear electronic tags to enforce quarantine

 

2020-08-03T051809Z_1_LYNXMPEG7208P_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-SINGAPORE-WEARABLES.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Seafarers who have spent the past months working onboard vessels arrive at the Changi Airport to board their flight back home to India during a crew change amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore June 12, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

 

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore will make some incoming travellers wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure that they comply with coronavirus quarantines as the city-state gradually reopens its borders, authorities said on Monday.

 

From August 11, the devices will be given to incoming travellers, including citizens and residents, from a select group of countries who will be allowed to isolate at home rather than at a state-appointed facility.

 

Similar measures using electronic wristbands to track peoples' movements during quarantine have been used in Hong Kong and South Korea.

 

Travellers to Singapore are required to activate the device, which use GPS and Bluetooth signals, upon reaching their home and will receive notifications on the device which they must acknowledge.

 

Any attempt to leave home or tamper with the device will trigger an alert to the authorities.

 

Hong Kong in March introduced a scheme for incoming travellers to use a slim electronic wristband, similar to a tag worn by hospital patients, to enforce quarantines for arriving passengers. South Korea has also used such wristbands connected to smartphone apps for those who violate quarantine.

 

Singapore, which has not given details on what the device will look like, said in a statement that it will not store any personal data and does not have any voice or video recording function.

Those aged 12 and below will not have to wear the devices.

 

The city-state, which is also planning to give all residents a wearable virus-tracing dongle, has tough punishments for breach of its quarantine and social distancing rules.

 

Under the Infectious Diseases Act, punishments can be fines of up to S$10,000 ($7,272) or imprisonment of up to six months, or both. It has also revoked the work passes of foreigners who flouted the rules.

 

Singapore has reported 52,825 coronavirus infections, mostly due to mass outbreaks in cramped migrant workers dormitories, but imported cases have been creeping up in recent days.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-08-03
 
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I'm okay with this. I understand precautions need to be taken, and if it's to put on an electric tag, it's the least one can do when visiting. I know not ideal, as it's pretty creepy to keep tabs on people like this, but when you're in a pandemic, we kind of have to just go with it I guess. 

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This requirement for travellers should be troubling for anyone who values their privacy and views with suspicion government intervention...

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I am OK with this. One in four people in Melbourne who were supposed to be in home isolation were found to be not present when police visited.

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13 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

I think its a good idea, although not as water tight as the SQ and ASQ’s as they are pure isolation. People who’ve returned from overseas and are quarantining at home with their families are not exactly in full on isolation. 

 

The one issue that would concern me is.... [upon reaching their home and will receive notifications on the device which they must acknowledge] I assuming this is at various points throughout the day, otherwise what’s the point, the device could just be left at home. So... for those of us with Jet-Lag sleeping half the day and not responding to the ‘alerts’ we could find ourselves in trouble. Additionally, what’s to stop a friend or family member from ‘responding to alerts’.... 

People quarantining at home who live with others are supposed to be in their own room with a separate bathroom - with meals left outside the door - unless the family members will all be staying home for the full two week duration as well. I think part of the reason why many places don't allow home quarantine is precisely because so many people think it means "I'll stay home, but I'll sleep with my spouse who continues to go to work, and play with my kids who continue to go to school."

 

As for the device, I'm sure it's fastened to the wrist or ankle with a tamper-proof or tamper-evident fastener - journalists who were quarantined in Hong Kong said that's how it was done there, and that's the only way the system would make sense. And knowing Singapore, I'm sure they would have no problem fining and jailing anyone whose device showed signs of tampering.

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Sounds like a nice relaxing trip...can take the Minority report ride at Disneyland.....

 

Your dog looks at you and says what--you dont like being tagged or chipped?   

 

Can be the next episode of Dark tourist on Netflix

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It is understandable that Singapore is trying to resort to drastic measures like this. After all Singapore was touted as the "model" for dealing with Covid 19 - until numbers exploded upwards. And in Singapore the narrative is that it is the fault of visitors and returnees, hence the recourse to such drastic measures.

 

The fact that Singapore initially had low numbers and was seen as a model, but then suffered an explosion of cases should worry those in Thailand who actually believe the unreal numbers being churned out by the Thai authorities.

 

Low figures yesterday does not mean low figures tomorrow. Singapore is a cautionary tale.

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Hmmm...not ok

 Don't let people in if this is what you have to resort to.

 

Because the next stage will be everyone has to wear one forever...just for safety to track any virus outbreak asap. 

 

Governments will just love this idea to track everyone's movements, social groups and other info.

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12 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

A fair point, however, no single race or nationality is being singled out - the tracking is only used on any ‘international arrival’ whether Singaporean or any other nationality and just for a two week quarantine period, as such is quite indiscriminate. 

This is true, but some people might not see it in black & white like you and I do.

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11 hours ago, DoctorG said:

I am OK with this. One in four people in Melbourne who were supposed to be in home isolation were found to be not present when police visited.

Yes it gives Australia a bad name

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On 8/3/2020 at 7:40 PM, richard_smith237 said:

This news is going to be a 'Dog Whistle' to those who love to cry about their civil rights & freedoms. 

 

Placing this into perspective.... If it meant I could quarantine at home rather than in a Alternative State Quarantine hotel, then I would have jumped at the chance to wear a tracker for the two week quarantine period. 

 

I think its a good idea, although not as water tight as the SQ and ASQ’s as they are pure isolation. People who’ve returned from overseas and are quarantining at home with their families are not exactly in full on isolation. 

 

 

The one issue that would concern me is.... [upon reaching their home and will receive notifications on the device which they must acknowledge] I assuming this is at various points throughout the day, otherwise what’s the point, the device could just be left at home. So... for those of us with Jet-Lag sleeping half the day and not responding to the ‘alerts’ we could find ourselves in trouble. Additionally, what’s to stop a friend or family member from ‘responding to alerts’.... 

 

Nothing is as water tight as the Quarantine system Thailand currently has in place - the only question is, are softer quarantine measures acceptable. 

 

IMO - this needs no new gadgets - all thats needed is for each arrival to give their address and have their sim-card (phone) ‘Geofenced’ to within 50m (or whatever is accurate) of their home, after two weeks the fence is lifted. 

Combine this with Covid-19 tests on arrival and after 13 days (covid-19 PCR test can be self administered and delivered by post / courier).

Also combine this with track and trace and strict non-compliance fines.

And there we have a system whereby people can quarantine at home rather than SQ or ASQ.

 

It takes organisation though !

 

 

 

Singapore - the police state fiefdom of the Lee family. Of course they can be trusted not to use this!

 

Maybe you think the yellow Star of David enforced on Jewish citizens by the Nazis was just a simple ID badge? 

 

Governments have used terrorism, crime, health issues / pandemics. to increase their control over their citizens for decades. 

 

Of course totalitarian states don't need excuses. But those pretending to be free democracies do.

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