In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Etihad Airways announced that passengers arriving in Abu Dhabi will now be outfitted with electronic wristbands that monitor their adherence to strict quarantine mandates. Regardless of a traveler’s final destination, the airline had already required a negative COVID-19 test within 96 hours of their flight.
This added layer of security will be implemented after passengers disembark the plane, walk through thermal sensors, and test for COVID-19 again, Lonely Planet reports. Travelers will then be required to quarantine for 14 days and wear the electronic bracelet, which officials will distribute at the airport.
According to Lonely Planet, the United Arab Emirates — like many other countries — is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 cases after initially lowering case numbers in previous months. Although the number of deaths remain much lower than at the height of the outbreak in April and May, on Sept. 12, the UAE recorded its highest number of new daily cases during the whole pandemic.
This is not the first method the country has tried to prevent possible outbreaks stemming from its busy airports. Last month, Dubai’s international airport recruited coronavirus-sniffing dogs to identify COVID-positive travelers through the scent of their sweat.
The UAE is also not the first country to implement the use of electronic monitoring devices to enforce mandatory quarantines. In mid-August, Singapore began issuing devices with Bluetooth and GPS capabilities, requiring incoming travelers to activate the monitors upon arrival at their quarantine locations and to respond to any messages or notifications sent by the government. Authorities also receive alerts when anyone wearing a monitor attempts to leave their quarantine location or tamper with their device.
Meanwhile, Kauai recently received approval to create “resort bubbles” that would allow quarantining visitors to leave their guest rooms only to use approved hotel facilities. While in the “bubble,” they must wear electronic monitoring bracelets, so that the hotel can track their movements within designated areas.