Australian State to Use Geolocation, Live Face Recognition Quarantine App

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
September 3, 2021 Updated: September 3, 2021

The Australian state government of South Australia is rolling out a new quarantine app that requires users to use geolocation and live face recognition check-ins.

Known as “Quarantine SA,” the mobile app tracks users’ location at each random check-in request to make sure they are at an approved address.

The app is supported by the state’s health and police departments.

Several live face recognition and geolocation check-ins are done on a randomised schedule at various intervals throughout the day to confirm the individual is at an approved address and complying with home quarantine mandates.

Users have just 15 minutes to respond to the random check in and if they miss one, they will receive a follow-up phone call from the Home Quarantine SA team to discuss the reason why.

If an individual misses the phone call from the Home Quarantine SA team for whatever reason, a compliance officer may visit the approved address to check they are there.

According to the official government website, the app “provides support and resources to enable you to safely quarantine at home” and will “increase South Australia’s quarantine capacity and provide a safe, sustainable and cost effective alternative to medi-hotel quarantine.”

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Residents currently under quarantine at the Ariel Apartment complex are seen on their balcony on on July 14, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Interstate travel within Australia has been severely restricted in an effort to suppress the spread of COVID-19 while the country’s borders are currently closed with international travel from Australia remaining strictly controlled.

People wanting to return to South Australia, and who have been approved to use the home quarantine app, will have to apply by providing their full legal name, date of birth, approved quarantine address, mobile phone number and email address.

People will still be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Back in August, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said the app was being rolled out to make home-based quarantine more cost-effective.

“In the past where we have had this option for people coming from interstate and in the early days from overseas, it required a very heavy police presence to go and check on them,” Marshall told ABC news.

“Now we have had a great uptake of the QR code check-in app here in South Australia, people say it’s the best in the country, I think they’re right and now we are the national selected pilot for this home-based quarantine app.”

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South Australia Premier Steven Marshall at Memorial Drive in Adelaide, Australia on Jan. 29, 2021. (Mark Brake/Getty Images)

He noted that the app was part of a pilot that consisted of 50 people, but it would be expanded to international travellers in “subsequent weeks.”

“I think every South Australian should feel pretty proud that we are the national pilot for the home-based quarantine app,” Marshall added.

Information on the state government’s website about using the app recently became available to the public.

The app comes as Australia is in the midst of a COVID-19 virus Delta variant outbreak in the states of New South Wales and Victoria, where both state leaders refuse to lift restrictions until at least 70-80 percent of their residents are vaccinated with at least one dose.

Officials this week announced a three-month extension of the “human biosecurity emergency powers” that allow it to restrict Australians from outbound international travel amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

Originally due to end on Sept. 17, the emergency powers, which have been in place since March 2020, will continue until Dec. 17.

Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.