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Singapore requiring new arrivals to wear electronic tags as part of quarantine

Singapore requiring new arrivals to wear electronic tags as part of quarantine
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Singapore will require electronic monitoring devices for all incoming travelers to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Officials will give the devices to all travelers from a list of countries, including Singapore citizens and residents, beginning Aug. 11. Recipients will be required to turn on the devices once they arrive home, and will receive notifications through them. Authorities will be alerted if the bearer leaves home or tries to tamper with the device, Reuters reported.

Hong Kong and South Korea have implemented a similar measure, requiring incoming travelers to wear electronic wristbands akin to those used by hospital patients to enforce mandatory quarantines.

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Singaporean officials said the devices will not record users or store their personal data, the news service said. Anyone 12 and younger will be exempt. Officials did not offer any further details on what the devices would look like, Reuters noted.

The city-state already has strict quarantine and social distancing rules in place, punishing violators with fines equivalent to nearly $7,300 or imprisonment for six months. Foreign nationals violating the rules can also have their work passes revoked.

Singapore has recorded 52,825 cases of the virus as of Monday, the majority in crowded living quarters used by migrant workers.

The new announcement comes as several countries that contained the virus to a greater extent than the U.S. have seen resurgences of the virus. Australia this weekend declared a state of disaster in Victoria state, while India reported 55,000 new cases Sunday.

Officials in Hong Kong, meanwhile, have directed residents to stay indoors, warning a large outbreak could overwhelm the city’s hospital system.

“In order to protect our loved ones, our healthcare staff and Hong Kong, I appeal to you to follow strictly the social distancing measures and stay at home as far as possible,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam said last week.