UK authorities are considering a new measure that would force people to send selfies every day to prove they’re self-isolating, photos which would then be cross-referenced using GPS data and facial-recognition software.
The Sunday Times reports that COVID lockdown officials are looking to mirror policies introduced in New Zealand, where all new arrivals to the country are forced to check in to a ‘quarantine hotel’ at the airport for a period of 2 weeks.
Another potential enforcement measure would be to copy Poland’s so-called “enhanced monitoring” system for those who are supposed to be self-isolating.
“Each person is contacted once a day and told to send a photograph of themselves at the location where they are confined,” states the report.
“These are cross-referenced using GPS data and facial-recognition software. Those who fail to comply within 20 minutes receive a visit from police.”
It is not known whether the new measure would also apply to UK citizens returning to their own country.
The new policies are being considered in the name of preventing new ‘mutant’ strains of COVID-19 from spreading in the UK.
“Concerns that the pandemic response has been accompanied by a tendency towards China-style surveillance won’t be assuaged by these plans to require a digital ‘minder’ in the room at all times,” writes Conor Chaplin.
“If these variants are to be treated with such extreme caution now, for fear that the vaccines provide no immunity to them, how will normal travel ever resume, given that new strains are bound to keep emerging and vaccines can only be developed and manufactured so quickly?”
As we previously highlighted, the UK’s third national lockdown is being much more vigorously enforced, with police paying home visits to alleged lockdown flouters while also arresting people for sitting on benches.
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