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Singapore to give all incoming travelers wearable tracking device

Bluetooth and GPS widget will be used to enforce home COVID quarantine

Singapore will fit all incoming travelers with a wearable tracking device to prevent them from breaching their mandatory quarantine.

Since March, all incoming travelers into Singapore have been required to quarantine for 14 days at either their chosen place of residence or at a dedicated facility. Returnees are then tested before the end of their quarantine period.

The new measures, announced by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) yesterday, mandates that returnees will also need to wear an electronic monitoring device for the duration of their quarantine period.

The device will use GPS and Bluetooth signals to track the wearer's movements to ensure they do not leave their quarantine location.

If the wearer tampers with the device or leaves their quarantine location for any reason other than being tested, it will trigger an alert to the authorities.

Wearers will also receive intermittent notifications on the device that they will need to respond to “in a timely manner”.

Those found in breach of the new rules can be fined up to SGD$10,000 ($7,270) and be imprisoned for up to six months. Foreigners in breach of the rules risk having their work permits shortened or their visas revoked.

The ICA says that the devices cannot record voice or video and do not store any personal data. All location or Bluetooth data collected by the device is end-to-end encrypted and will not be transmitted from the device to the authorities' back-end system.

"Only Government officials authorised by the respective authorities will have access to the data for the purposes of monitoring and investigation," the authority said in a statement.

The new rules will take place from 11 August and will affect all travelers, including citizens and permanent residents, entering the country. Children aged 12 and below won't be made to don the device. ®

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