Electronic bracelets should be strongly considered for travellers arriving from overseas, prominent scientist Nick Wilson says.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said arrivals into New Zealand will still have to be quarantined for two weeks even after the lockdown is over.

Professor Wilson, a former medical doctor now at University of Otago's public health department told RNZ electronic bracelets could ensure travellers arriving in New Zealand did not break the rules.


"The country is making enormous sacrifices to try and achieve elimination so it's a relatively small ask that travellers do have some of these electronic monitoring devices," he said.

Crew members from the Ruby Princess cruise ship have reportedly tested positive to COVID-19 and are receiving treatment at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Video / Sky News Australia

Although there might be pushback, he hoped most people would understand how important it was to stop the virus taking hold, he said.

Maura Lewinger lost her husband to COVID-19. Video / CNN

The bracelets could also help with tracing contacts if people did breach their quarantine.

Other forms of electronic monitoring, like phone apps, could also be useful and had worked overseas, he said.

Surveillance testing
Prof Wilson and five of his University of Otago colleagues have also written an academic blog about surveillance testing, which is when authorities seek out cases of the disease, rather than waiting for them turn up.

The scientists, some of whom directly advise the government, said mobile testing clinics could help find cases in harder-to-access areas - like poor or rural communities.

Essential workers like supermarket staff or truck drivers could be tested because they were at greater risk of exposure than those at home in their bubbles, they said.

Sewage samples could also be used to look for evidence of the disease in certain areas - but that testing had not been fully developed for Covid-19 yet.


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