SINGAPORE: The implementation of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry at all higher-risk venues will be brought forward by about two weeks to May 17.
Other modes of SafeEntry check-in, such as the scanning of QR codes with a mobile phone camera or the Singpass app, will be discontinued from this date, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) said on Tuesday (May 4).
Check-ins from May 17 must be performed using a TraceTogether app or token at venues that experience "higher throughput" of visitors, such as malls, workplaces and places of worship, and where people are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods.
Users can use the TraceTogether app to scan the venue’s QR code, display their token for venue staff members to scan, or tap their app or token at a SafeEntry Gateway device.
Check-ins with identification cards will be allowed until May 31 to ease the transition, said the authorities.
The authorities previously announced that TraceTogether-only SafeEntry would be implemented from Jun 1 at all higher-risk venues.
"With the recent community cases, active participation in the TraceTogether programme is crucial for effective contact tracing. We seek everyone’s cooperation to use either the TT App or Token, and to remain on guard in the fight against COVID-19," said the authorities in a press release.
More than 18,000 SMS alerts have been sent to individuals identified by SafeEntry as having been to places visited by COVID-19 cases linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster.
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The authorities also said on Tuesday that from Jun 15, more public-facing venues will be required to deploy SafeEntry Gateways. These are venues where people are likely to be in contact for prolonged periods, such as food and beverage dine-in outlets, hotels, and sports and fitness centres.
This move is to facilitate check-ins and help users check that their TraceTogether tokens are working, said the group.
Venue operators can either download the SafeEntry (Business) App to use the SafeEntry Gateway function, or set up the SafeEntry Gateway Box.
Venues that are required to deploy the SafeEntry Gateway will be able to apply for free SafeEntry Gateway Boxes. More information on how venue operators can apply for the SafeEntry Gateway Box is available on the SafeEntry website.
The authorities reminded members of the public to ensure that their TraceTogether app is updated to the latest version and that they should turn on their Bluetooth and keep the app active in their phone background.
TraceTogether token users should ensure their token has not run out of battery and should always have the token with them when they leave home.
Token users can check if their token is working by looking out for a green light that blinks about once every minute.
If the token is blinking red, or if there is no light at all, users should replace their token at any community club, community centre or at token replacement booths set up at selected malls.
Those who have not collected the token can also do so at any community club or community centre islandwide.
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The authorities said the TraceTogether programme and SafeEntry are “important digital tools” that enable contact tracers to quickly identify and isolate close contacts of COVID-19 cases.
“This also helps to break transmission chains and prevent community outbreaks. While TraceTogether data identifies an initial list of close contacts, SafeEntry data provides the list of places visited by COVID-19 cases to help our contact tracers establish cluster links," they added.
“The combined use of these digital tools has enabled us to reduce the average time taken to contact trace from four days to less than 1.5 days."