Singapore to track travelers when self-quarantine with a GPS wristband

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Singapore Airlines Airbus A380

To reopen borders during an ongoing worldwide coronavirus pandemic the Singapore authorities decided that anyone who enters the country on August 11 and beyond should wear an electronic monitoring wristband to ensure compliance with the current mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for citizens, residents, and everyone else who travels to the country.

Children 12 years and younger are exempt from the rule.

Upon entry to Singapore you will get a GPS/Bluetooth enabled wristband. Once you reach your home the wristband will show a notification that you need to acknowledge activating the devise. If you try to leave your home or temper with the device while in quarantine it triggers a notification to the local authorities and you might be into a big trouble.

According to Singapore laws the punishment for breaching the 14-day self-quarantine can lead to fines up to $7,272, going to jail for up to six months, or both. Similar measures have been taken in South Korea and Hong Kong.

The country has reported 52,825 infections, according to Reuters, and it has seen outbreaks in many areas. Passengers from a selected list of countries are allowed to enter Singapore, however, short-term visitor are still not allowed except with special approval.

The flagship carrier of the country, Singapore Airlines hasn’t been spared by the pandemic. The airline is part of the SIA group which includes SilkAir and Scoot. Overall, the Group entered the first quarter in market conditions that worsen by the day due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With sweeping travel restrictions and border controls the travel demand among the airlines in the Group plummeted.

As a result, in a Singapore Airlines statement from July 29, the Group reported over 99% loss of passenger demand compared to the same period of last year.

No one has seen the Singapore wristband yet, but authorities ensure that it will not collect and store any personal data. However, let’s not forget that giant tech companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook already collect personal information from its users for their own gain on a global scale.

If the implementation of the wristbands in Singapore is successful other countries is very likely to adopt the same method of tracking people that have to self-quarantine.

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Ian Powers is a travel blogger and nature enthusiast. Ian has over 20 years of aviation travel experience.

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