When one is under house arrest, it can mean a variety of things, up to an including electronic monitoring by a literal “tag” of sorts that sends an alarm if the person is too far out of range. According to a recent story out of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong government has started using this particular form of ‘house arrest’ for people who are on ‘quarantine’ for the Chinese coronavirus.
The Hong Kong government has announced it has 500 electronic monitoring tags ready to distribute to Hong Kong people placed under home quarantine upon returning to the SAR after having spent time in Hubei province, the epicenter of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The government’s chief information officer, Victor Lam, unveiled the e-tag at a press briefing this afternoon, saying that any Hong Kong residents who have been to Hubei in the past 14 days must undergo home quarantine of 14 days, a measure the new electronic bracelets are meant to ensure.
The tag is paired to a person’s smartphone — using Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE, technology — and is plugged into the mains at the wearer’s home.
If the person wearing the tag unplugs the phone and leaves the quarantine zone with it, or if the distance between the tag and the phone exceeds 20 meters, an alert will be sent to the Department of Health and the police.
The authorities will also get an alert if the tag is broken or removed. Anyone who violates the home quarantine order faces up to six months in jail and a fine of HK$5,000 (US$644). (source)