A pilot programme, which requires people to use either the free TraceTogether tokens or mobile app to check in at certain venues, is a useful initiative. It is tied, ultimately, to the need to continue to open up society safely so that businesses and the economy can operate normally. The global dimensions of the imperative are clear. Countries simply cannot function if they do not resume productive activity. But the danger is that doing so without foresight will invite the coronavirus to strike again by seeping through the gaps of reduced epidemiological vigilance. Technology offers a way out. It allows nations to calibrate the balance between greater social contact and the probability that this will lead to problems. Therein lies the ingenuity of the TraceTogether programme.
The logic behind the move is clear. It supplements the national digital check-in system SafeEntry's check-in data with TraceTogether proximity data, which improves the contact tracing process. These digital tools enhance the seamlessness of contact tracing without causing inconvenience or being intrusive. The initiative will help mitigate the risk of large virus clusters forming, and could allow for a safer increase in capacity limits at events and premises, with any potential future easing of measures. The tokens will help to fix a problem with tracking and tracing, which are essential to ring-fencing an outbreak. The TraceTogether app has been downloaded 2.4 million times, accounting for about 40 per cent of the population. But not everyone's app is active, which reduces the effectiveness of the measure, which requires active participation together.
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