Travellers arriving in Singapore will have to wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure they comply with coronavirus quarantine rules, authorities announced today.
The city-state is gradually reopening its borders and from August 11 devices will be given to travellers, including citizens and residents, from a select group of countries.
They will then be allowed to isolate at home rather than at a state-appointed facility.
Travellers to Singapore are required to activate the device, which uses GPS and Bluetooth signals, upon reaching their home and will must acknowledge all notifications they receive on the device.
Any attempt to leave home or tamper with the device will trigger an alert to authorities.
The only reason for anyone will be allowed to leave their place of residence will be to have a mandatory Covid-19 swab test.
Singapore has not provided further details on what the devices will look like but authorities said in a statement that they will not store personal data and do not have voice or video recording functions.
Only those aged 12 and older will be made 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, fines of up to $7,272 or imprisonment of up to six months, or both, can be enforced.
It has also revoked the work passes of foreigners who flouted the rules.
Singapore has reported more than 53,000 coronavirus infections, mostly due to mass outbreaks in cramped migrant workers dormitories.
Imported cases have been creeping up in recent days with 226 confirmed in the past 24 hours.
Singapore’s coronavirus death toll stands at just 27.
Similar measures using electronic wristbands to track peoples’ movements during quarantine in Hong Kong and South Korea.
In March Hong Kong 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.