SINGAPORE: The new SafeEntry Gateways deployed at malls, cinemas and other locations with large volumes of visitors has made the flow of people entering these places smoother.
With the gateways in place at NEX since mid-February, checking in at the mall is “quick and convenient” for those who use the TraceTogether token and app, “even during peak hours”, said a spokesman for the mall.
Staff members are still being deployed at NEX’s six entry points to monitor temperature screening and wearing of masks, the spokesman added.
“Over time, we expect the process to be even smoother as shoppers become more familiar with the TraceTogether token and app as it becomes mandatory for all,” said the NEX spokesman.
The Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) announced in March that selected places with large numbers of visitors such as malls, cinemas, gated tourist attractions and supermarkets must deploy the SafeEntry Gateways from Monday (Apr 19).
Other venues include large standalone retail outlets, public libraries, selected museums and galleries, MICE event venues, places of worship and funeral parlours with wake halls.
Public and private hospitals, national specialty centres, community hospitals and polyclinics will also need to deploy the gateways.
They will also be set up at popular wet markets, including Geylang Serai Market, Chong Pang Market, the markets at Blocks 20 and 21 Marsiling Lane, and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52.
CapitaLand, which operates malls including Funan and ION Orchard, will roll out the gateways at entry points across all its malls from Monday.
“We will monitor and review users’ feedback, ensuring that our malls operate within the occupancy limits and adopt the appropriate measures in line with authorities’ guidelines,” said a CapitaLand spokesman.
The National Library Board has rolled out the gateways at all public libraries, the National Library, the National Archives of Singapore and the Former Ford Factory, it told CNA.
The gateways are “especially useful” during peak hours to reduce crowding at check-in areas, allowing for a “seamless and more efficient” check-in process, said the NLB spokesman.
“A minimal number of staff is deployed at the entrances to ensure that check-in using various check-in modes, including SafeEntry Gateway, is done correctly at the libraries. They also assist with queue management and are on standby to help patrons who require assistance,” the spokesman added.
The SafeEntry Gateway allows visitors to check in by placing their TraceTogether tokens or mobile phone within 25cm of the gateway device or a box – similar to using an EZ-Link card on public transport.
The box will beep and show a green light if the check-in is successful. For those using mobile phones, the TraceTogether app must be open for the check-in to proceed.
When CNA visited several malls, supermarkets and other venues on Monday at lunchtime, most places had the QR codes displayed outside, or far away from the table where the SafeEntry Gateway box was set up. Most people were still checking in before entering by scanning the QR codes with the TraceTogether app on their phones while in the queue.
Those who were using the TraceTogether tokens would come forward to scan the QR codes on their tokens, and most of the time, staff members would direct them to tap their tokens on the SafeEntry Gateway box instead.
CNA also observed that some people would try tapping their NRIC against the SafeEntry Gateway boxes. Staff members would then have to manually scan the cards.
READ: New SafeEntry Gateway device on trial at Downtown East to make TraceTogether check-ins more convenient
Venues are still deploying the same number of staff members at its entry points to manage those checking in with alternative methods, they told CNA.
A Cathay Cineplex spokesperson said the gateways have been “helpful” in easing the process of checking into the cinemas since they were installed at all its outlets from mid-March.
“However, we continue to deploy the same amount of manpower to assist those who might need help checking in with the various methods,” said the spokesman, adding that staff members also assist visitors who need assistance to download or register for the TraceTogether app.
Adding that it had no specific traffic numbers to share, the spokesman said that “anecdotally” the gateways have been helpful for its staff members overseeing the SafeEntry check-in process, especially since demand for assistance has increased with the launch of popular titles recently.
Dairy Farm Group, which manages the Cold Storage and Giant supermarkets, is also deploying the same number of employees at the check-in points to “assist with various modes of check-ins” and ensure that customers are wearing masks.
"There is some adjustment to be expected for customers but overall we believe it will make the flow smoother as customers can now simply tap their SafeEntry tokens or use the app and enter our stores,” said the spokesman.
NTUC FairPrice will continue to deploy employees at store entrances to facilitate the entry of customers using the different existing check-in methods, like the scanning of ICs and QR codes using mobile apps, a spokesman told CNA.
Adding that it has also installed the gateways at all its outlets islandwide, the spokesman said the gateways provide for a “seamless entry and exit” for customers who have the TraceTogether token or app.