By end December, checking in with the TraceTogether app or token will be mandatory at venues including restaurants, workplaces, schools and shopping malls, as Singapore prepares for phase three of its reopening.
This means no one will be able to gain entry to these places by scanning SafeEntry QR codes with their phone cameras, or through the SingPass mobile app or barcodes on their NRIC.
SafeEntry, the nation’s digital check-in system, is currently mandated at all these places.
When the new rule kicks in, people must instead use the TraceTogether app or token. The app includes a function for scanning SafeEntry QR codes, while the tokens sport a QR code with a similar function.
Mandatory use of TraceTogether will be introduced at cinemas from next Monday.
The TraceTogether app and token work by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals with other TraceTogether apps or tokens nearby. This proximity data, which is encrypted and stored for 25 days before being automatically deleted, allows quick contact tracing.
About 45 per cent of the population is on the TraceTogether programme now.
Education Minister Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19, said at a virtual press conference yesterday that a 70 per cent take-up rate for the TraceTogether app is one of the conditions that could help Singapore get to phase three of its reopening.
“When we have both a higher take-up rate of TraceTogether and wider deployment of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry… and community transmission throughout this period remains low, then there is a good chance of us entering phase three… by the end of the year,” he said.
Phase two of Singapore’s reopening was meant to last several months, even as more measures are lifted, while phase three is the “new normal” until a vaccine or treatment is developed for Covid-19.
Other venues and events that will have mandatory TraceTogether check-in include places of worship with more than 100 people, live performances and business events, said the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG).
Checking in with TraceTogether ensures that if a Covid-19 case is identified, the authorities can quickly inform close contacts in those locations through the TraceTogether Programme, SNDGG said.
Close contacts can then immediately take the necessary precautions to keep their loved ones safe.
The rolling out of TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be done in conjunction with the expanded distribution of TraceTogether tokens.
The tokens are being distributed at 38 community centres. By the end of next month, TraceTogether tokens will be available at all 108 community centres islandwide.
TraceTogether mobile booths, where tokens can be collected, have also been set up at shopping malls.
The full deployment schedule and list of locations can be found on the TokenGoWhere website.
Earlier this month, SNDGG said more than 100,000 tokens had been collected.