MOE updating timing of requirement for students to use TraceTogether token or app at schools

MOE updating timing of requirement for students to use TraceTogether token or app at schools

TraceTogether tokens
TraceTogether tokens are seen before being distributed to residents at Jalan Besar Community Club in Singapore, Sep 14, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Education (MOE), which previously said students would have to use the TraceTogether token or app for entry to schools from Dec 1, is updating this requirement.

This is to keep in line with a statement by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) which said that TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will only be enforced after everyone who needs a token has had a chance to collect one.

Guidelines published on MOE's website said that all schools would begin the gradual implementation of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry from Dec 1. 

MOE has since told CNA that the guidelines will be updated to reflect the SNDGO statement.

The guidelines also said that students will not be denied entry to schools if they do not have the TraceTogether app, or if he or she has misplaced or forgotten to bring the token.

Students with special education needs can also check in with the token or the app. When the students are in school, staff members will assist students who may face challenges in accessing the TraceTogether app or did not bring their token to school, according to the guidelines.  

Similarly, students without the token or the app will not be denied entry to schools. 

“Nevertheless, parents of students with SEN (special education needs) are encouraged to obtain and use the TT Token for their child for occasional school activities that may require it and for their private use,” said the MOE guidelines. 

READ: TraceTogether-only SafeEntry check-in to be used at popular venues as Singapore resumes larger-scale activities

TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be progressively implemented at popular venues across Singapore by the end of the year, the SNDGO announced on Oct 20. 

This means it will be compulsory to use the TraceTogether app or token for SafeEntry check in at certain venues, including those conducting activities with large groups of people.

The TraceTogether programme relies on proximity data to provide an initial list of close contacts of COVID-19 cases.

Together with SafeEntry and associated digital systems, the programme would enable contact tracing teams to reduce the time taken to identify and quarantine a close contact from four days to less than two days on average.

The distribution of TraceTogether tokens at community centres was temporarily suspended on Oct 27, after long queues formed at some collection points. Collection began again on Oct 29, one constituency at a time to “better match demand” and prevent the long queues from forming at some community centres. 

"More constituency CCs will be progressively opened for the collection of tokens from October to December. By the second half of December, all CCs will be opened for collection, including the initial 38 CCs," SNDGO had said.

Residents can check the TokenGoWhere website to find their designated collection venue and full collection schedule.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article, citing MOE guidelines published on the ministry’s website, said schools would begin implementation of TraceTogether-only entry from Dec 1. MOE has subsequently advised that these guidelines are being updated in line with the SNDGO’s statement that TraceTogether-only entry will be only be enforced after everyone who needs a token has a chance to collect one.

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Source: CNA/hw(gs)

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