Israel bringing back electronic bracelets for coronavirus tracking

Starting in May, passengers arriving in Israel who are not vaccinated or recovered from coronavirus will get a tracking device to ensure they stay quarantined.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Israel’s Health Ministry decided to reinstate electronic tracking for people flying into Israel in order to check that they are abiding by quarantine regulations, Kan News reported Wednesday.

Beginning in May, those who arrive in Israel and cannot prove that they have been vaccinated for coronavirus or show they have recovered from the disease will be sent to mandatory two-week home isolation equipped with an electronic bracelet that tracks their location.

Anyone who refuses to wear the bracelet will be sent to quarantine in a government-appropriated hotel. A Health Ministry source told Kan that the tracking bracelets are an additional mechanism for enforcing isolation and not an alternative to isolation.

Last month, the Knesset approved a bill for the supervision of those isolating by use of the electronic tracking bracelets. In a pilot project to test the system, 100 people a day were given the bracelets. The law specifies that in exceptional cases some people may be allowed to remain in home isolation without electronic supervision for humanitarian or health reasons, as well as minors under the age of 14 who have an appointed a guardian to supervise their quarantine.

The Health Ministry hired the services of a private company to operate and maintain the electronic surveillance measures, in accordance with a procedure established by the ministry and with the approval of the attorney general. Under the law, the information received by the company will be stored in a Health Ministry database and will be deleted by the end of the isolation period.

However, the company will provide the Ministry of Health and the police with information on anybody who violates their isolation, and that information will be kept for a month.

As of Wednesday, the ministry reported only 148 new infections in the past day and only 2,103 active cases in the country – down from over 80,000 at the start of the year.

The countrywide vaccination campaign has proven to be a huge success, dramatically lowering the infection rate and allowing Israel’s economy to reopen. The efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine has also been felt in the armed forces, where the IDF Wednesday reported only seven soldiers are currently sick with coronavirus and 173 are in quarantine – down from over 18,000 soldiers who were infected or in quarantine at the height of the pandemic.