While the majority of people are taking social distancing and shelter-in-place orders seriously, some aren’t, and police in Spain have adopted a new tool to help convince those people to stay indoors: Drones.
Video has emerged of the drones, which have microphones mounted on them, being used to check the streets and even scold people who aren’t self-quarantining. The news was first reported by the BBC, which has video of the drones in action.
Police in Spain have been using drones to check the streets for anyone ignoring Spanish orders to stay home during the coronavirus outbreak
On Saturday, the country's 47 million citizens were ordered to stay indoors except for necessary tripshttps://t.co/Yqcy5K9OLC pic.twitter.com/jmLlQfQYXc
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 15, 2020
Spain officials first placed citizens on lockdown on Saturday, following the advice of medical professionals attempting to curb the spread of the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. The idea behind keeping people inside is “flattening the curve,” whereby the spread of coronavirus can be slowed, ensuring that the capacity of hospitals isn’t exceeded. Despite official warnings and medical advice, it seems as though some people are still venturing outside for non-emergencies. Spain currently has fourth-largest number of reported coronavirus cases in the world, following China, Italy, and Iran.
Of course, it’s unlikely we would see similar measures by police in the U.S., for a few reasons. For starters, different states have been implementing different rules, and no states have yet implemented a full lockdown. California has implemented a “shelter-in-place” order, which still allows people to go outside for essential needs, like groceries and medical attention. Not only that, but as noted by MSN, the U.S. Department of the Interior signed a no-fly order for all of its drones because of concerns surrounding drones manufactured in China or that use Chinese parts.
Some other countries have implemented full lockdowns, most notably Italy. Instead of using drones, police in Italy are simply patrolling the streets. Anyone found in the streets will need a declared reason, and if that reason proves to be false, they could end up with a jail term of up to three months.
Earlier in the year, it was reported that police in China were also using drones to tell citizens to go home — however, some reports indicated that it was actually a social media influencer operating the drones in China.