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UK government could ask for geotagged selfies during COVID isolation

Covid-19 selfie
(Image credit: Sony)

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause disruption across the globe, ministers in the UK are exploring new ways to enforce self isolation on travelers to the UK. These new measure are to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus and any new variants. 

As the UK continues to roll out the vaccine to the public, new variants of coronavirus could undermine these efforts. Officials have therefore been told to prepare for the potential use of quarantine hotels and GPS and facial recognition technology. 

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The Polish government has implemented similar systems to monitor those that are in self isolation. This system requires individuals that are being monitored to send a selfie with location data to prove that they are adhering to isolation rules. A special app contacts them with a request for a selfie and provides a 20 minute window for compliance. Facial recognition technology along with the GPS data is used to confirm the persons identity and their location. 

If the geotagged selfie is not submitted within that time frame then they are visited by the police. 

These measure are still under consideration and have not yet been implemented in the UK. The key reason for this new potential strategy is to try and prevent any new strains of the coronavirus from entering the UK. As the vaccine continues to be rolled out in the country, any new strains could undermine this effort. 

The benefit of this new system means that police can focus their attention on those that are in self isolation, making for a more efficient strategy. At this stage, this new system is only being considered so it would be interesting to see how and if it is actually implemented within the UK. 

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Usman is a commercial and architectural photographer based in West Yorkshire, who has been working professionally for over seven years. He has also spent over four years as a writer for the biggest photography sites in the world, including Staff Writer for Digital Camera World, senior staff writer for FStoppers, and tech writer for Petapixel. 


With a particular interest in technology developments, high-resolution imaging and the high-end cameras, Usman has been on the cutting edge of camera news as well as writing features about medium format systems and global shutters, and has reviewed some of the latest Leica cameras as well as a tripod that’s even taller than Andre the Giant!