Travelers will be required to pick up their devices after clearing immigration.

By Meena Thiruvengadam
August 05, 2020
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The era of luxury hotel quarantines appears to be over in Singapore.

Beginning Aug. 11, Singapore will require all incoming travelers to quarantine at home with electronic monitoring devices. The devices use Bluetooth and GPS signals to track travelers, but don’t record voice or video, Singapore’s Ministry of Health said.

All travelers over 12 years old, including returning residents, will have to wear a monitor. Travelers are to pick up devices after clearing immigration. They are required to activate the monitors once they arrive at their quarantine locations and to acknowledge the messages and notifications sent by the government.

Authorities receive alerts when anyone wearing a monitor attempts to leave their quarantine location or tamper with their device.

It’s not clear whether Singapore plans to use wristbands similar to those used to track travelers in Hong Kong and South Korea. Singapore’s government said it would not store personal information and that data transmitted by the devices would be encrypted.

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Singapore has seen more than 725 imported cases of coronavirus so far. It’s also seen a handful of imported cases each day for the past week and has reported more than 54,000 confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. It has reported 27 deaths.

Singapore previously put incoming travelers up at luxury hotels, providing amenities like meal delivery, free laundry, and sea views, according to Reuters. The government covered the costs, allowing hotels to generate some revenue during the pandemic.

One Singaporean woman returning from the U.K., Andrea Goh, shared her experience on YouTube. Instead of the military barrack she had been expecting, she got a five-star room with a view of the South China Sea and meals created by hotel chefs.

While the Shangri-La hotel does boast a pool, fitness center, and tennis courts, quarantine guests have been prohibited from leaving their rooms. They and guests at other luxury properties have also had to make their own beds since housekeeping isn’t available in quarantine.