The government said on Monday that it has 500 electronic wristbands ready to monitor Hong Kong people placed into quarantine in their own homes if they return to the SAR after having spent time in Hubei province.
The Department of Health said Hong Kong residents who had been in the virus-ravaged area over the previous 14 days would be ordered to stay at home, with the quarantine period also 14 days.
Anyone who violates the quarantine order risks a prison term of up to six months and a fine of HK$5,000.
Victor Lam, the government’s chief information officer, said the wristbands will be connected to a phone plugged into the mains at the wearer's home. If the wristband moves too far away from the phone, an alert will be sent to the authorities.
But the tags aren't equipped with GPS, Lam said, and to find anyone who absconds, officials will first try calling them on their mobile.
Meanwhile, Under Secretary for Health Chui Tak-yi said the government is moving ahead with a plan to use a heritage lodge at the Jao Tsung-I Academy near Mei Foo Sun Chuen Esate as the city's fourth quarantine centre, despite local opposition.
Chui told a press conference that the site, with up to 50 units, will be put into operation soon.
He said the location of the lodge is appropriate as it’s not close to any flats, and those who will stay there will not have been diagnosed as having the virus.
Chui said the majority of the 97 places at the current three quarantine camps are already occupied, and authorities are working to expand the sites.
He added that the government is also working on turning the Sai Kung Outdoor Recreation Centre into a quarantine camp.