Covid-19: Connected wristbands could be used to monitor home quarantine for travellers

Australia is considering testing electronic tags for monitoring home-based quarantine. — Focus and Blur/Shutterstock/AFP

Australian authorities are considering trialing electronic tags to manage at-home quarantine for certain travellers arriving from overseas, according to the Melbourne daily newspaper, The Age. A first trial could be carried out in the state of Victoria, the country's worst-hit state by Covid-19.

The electronic wrist tags could be used to monitor home-based 14-day quarantine periods when international flights to the Australian state resume. The idea is also gaining ground in Asia – in Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea – where similar tests are already underway.

The idea involves connecting the wristband to a mobile app installed on the wearer's cell phone, which proves that the individual has not left their residence of choice or their hotel room. This data can then be checked by a government monitoring service if necessary. In Singapore, the concept is even more intrusive, since isolating individuals can receive SMS alerts or phone calls at any time, which they are obliged to answer.

In Australia, the use of such devices should be temporary and proportional. Talks are still underway to establish how the electronic tags could be used on arrivals from certain international flights.

Currently, more than 25,000 Australians are reportedly stuck overseas and would like to return home. – AFP Relaxnews

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