SINGAPORE: From Jun 1, only the TraceTogether app or token will be accepted for SafeEntry check-in at all higher-risk venues.
The contact-tracing system will be mandatory at venues with higher numbers of visitors – such as malls, workplaces, places of worship and schools – or where people are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods – such as restaurants and gyms.
The move was announced on Thursday (Apr 22) by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG).
Members of the public can check-in at these locations by: Using their TraceTogether app to scan the venue's QR code; displaying their TraceTogether token for venue staff members to scan; or tapping their app or token at a SafeEntry Gateway device.
Other modes of SafeEntry, such as launching your phone’s camera to scan a venue’s QR code, using the Singpass app and scanning of barcodes on personal IDs, will be discontinued.
Large retail stores and supermarkets inside a mall will not need to have SafeEntry check-ins.
"This is because all visitors would have already performed TraceTogether-only SafeEntry check-in at the mall entrances, and the interactions at these venues within the malls are generally more transient," the press release said.
Small retail stores such as pharmacies, convenience stores and heartland provision shops that were not required to implement SafeEntry for customers, but have voluntarily done so, should also remove these check-ins to increase convenience for customers, the authorities added.
Although TraceTogether will be mandatory at schools, students will not be denied entry if they do not have the app or token, the Ministry of Education said.
But students should remember to bring their token or app if they are involved in external activities at venues that require TraceTogether-only SafeEntry, to ensure that they are able to participate in these activities.
READ: Students will not be denied entry to schools should they misplace, forget TraceTogether token or app: MOE
TraceTogether will also be required at solemnisations and weddings, funerary events and wakes, pre-schools and student care centres and healthcare facilities.
MOH and SNDGG 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 helps to break transmission chains and prevent community outbreaks as more activities resume. 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.”
The authorities said the combined use of these digital tools has enabled Singapore to reduce the average time taken to contact trace from four days to less than one-and-a-half days.
READ: Behind the scenes of a COVID-19 contact tracer’s work, tough cases and how TraceTogether has helped
“More recently, TraceTogether has helped to identify 75 persons who had to be placed under quarantine, but would likely not have been picked up through a manual contact tracing process.
“This has been important in ensuring that the impact of any local cases detected were immediately contained, with very little further spread in the community. With greater active usage of TraceTogether, the coverage and speed of contact tracing can be further enhanced. This will be most important in venues or settings where community spread is most likely to occur,” they added.
More than 90 per cent of the population have either downloaded the TraceTogether app or collected the TraceTogether token, the authorities said.
READ: Singapore tests distancing dongles to track mingling at meetings as it looks ahead to hosting WEF
TraceTogether app users are reminded to ensure that their app is updated to the latest version and to turn on their Bluetooth and keep the app active in the background.
Token users should make sure that their token has not run out of battery. To check if their TraceTogether token is working, users should look out for a green light that blinks once about 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 or community centre, or at a token replacement booth at selected malls.
Those who have not collected the token can do so at community clubs or community centres. More information can be found on the TokenGoWhere website.
This is the list of venues and events where TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be mandatory from Jun 1:
1. Workplaces such as offices, factories
2. Solemnisations and weddings
3. Funeral and funerary events
4. Funeral parlours with wake halls
5. Schools and educational institutions
6. Pre-schools and student care centres
7. Healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, TCM clinics, complementary healthcare facilities
8. Residential and community-based care facilities such as nursing homes, Senior Activity Centres, Senior Care Centres, Day Activity Centres for Persons with Disabilities
9. Places of worship
10. Hotels and hostels
11. Banks and financial institutions
12. Retail, personal and food & beverage services
– Supermarkets (excluding those located within malls and buildings covered by TraceTogether-only SafeEntry)
– Large retail outlets above 10,000 sq ft (excluding those located within malls and buildings covered by TraceTogether-only SafeEntry)
– F&B outlets for dine-in customers
– Personal care services such as hairdressers, barbers, spas, beauty and wellness
– Facilities providing basic pet services (that do not function on a drop-off, pick-up basis)
– Selected popular wet markets: Geylang Serai Market, Block 104, 105 Yishun Ring Road (Chong Pang Market), Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52
13. Tuition and enrichment and training centres
14. Other training or class venues
– Outdoor exercise classes
– Sports and fitness centres, including gyms, studios
15. Country and recreation clubs
16. Registered premises of other member clubs/societies
17. Cultural and entertainment venues
– Museums, exhibitions
– Ticketed attractions
– Other entertainment venues: Amusement centres, computer game centres, board game centres, billiard saloons, paintball game centres, axe-throwing centres
18. Event venues such as function halls or rooms, event lawns