16 January 2021
Marco Verch/Victor Tangermann

Spanish Police Using Drones to Yell at People Breaking Quarantine

Spanish authorities are public shaming — from a safe distance.
by Dan Robitzski /

In response to a sudden increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19, police in Spain are using drones to patrol towns and urge people to stay indoors.

The country issued a state of emergency on Friday, and on Saturday the government ordered everyone in the country to stay home for all but the most crucial trips outdoors, according to Business Insider. And now, like in China earlier this year, Spanish police are hoping to shame people into staying indoors without having to approach them and risk spreading disease.

Footage from the BBC shows police speaking into a radio and urging people walking through a Madrid park to go home. Meanwhile, a drone flying overhead relays the message to the people who were outside in spite of the quarantine.

Cops using drones to yell at people to stay inside sounds like something straight out of a cyberpunk dystopia. But following quarantine guidelines and keeping one’s distance are some of the best ways to slow down — and hopefully, eventually, stop — the spread of the coronavirus.

Spain’s policy mirrors the quarantine in place in Italy, which has been hit by one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks worldwide — the newly-declared state of emergency is meant to prevent things from getting just as bad there too.

Keep up. Subscribe to our daily newsletter.

I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy