During lockdown in Spain several law enforcement agencies have been using drone technology to control and surveil population. Drones have been used by many local police forces to inform citizens as well as monitor evictions and mass events. Some of the drones that have been set in motion, such as those of the Municipal Police of Madrid, are even equipped with thermal imaging cameras, capable of measuring body temperature to detect people with fever, regardless of whether this was the result of Covid-19 or other more frequent infections.
But the pandemic has only exacerbated the growing trend of the use of drones as a control mechanism, which, in the Spanish State, began in 2018 when the Catalan police used drones to control airspace during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In October 2019, the regional police used their six DJI drones to monitor large demonstrations against the sentencing that condemned Catalan politicians and sovereigntist leaders to prison. These remotely controlled aircraft provide complementary images to those of the police helicopter, which is also equipped with high-resolution cameras.