Automated check-in gantries deployed at Novena's Square 2 and other malls

People using the self check-in automated SafeEntry station at Square 2 shopping mall, on May 3, 2021.
People using the self check-in automated SafeEntry station at Square 2 shopping mall, on May 3, 2021.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - The Square 2 mall in Novena is one of several malls that have rolled out an automated gantry system at the entrances to ensure visitors check in on SafeEntry and have their temperatures taken.

The gantries at Square 2 were set up about three weeks ago and began operating on Monday (May 3), a staff member manning the mall entrance told The Straits Times.

The new arrangement comes after a growing cluster of community cases emerged at the nearby Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) last month.

"As safe management measures continue to be necessary, we have put in place automated entrances in addition to manned SafeEntry entrances at some of our malls since the beginning of April," said Ms Felicia Ang, assistant director of the retail business group at Far East Organization.

She said most of the 17 malls managed by Far East, including Square 2, have had the gantries installed.

"This allows our malls to open more entrances and provide convenient access to the public and our shoppers," she added.

The system allows visitors to check in by using their smartphones to scan the usual SafeEntry QR code displayed at the entrance.

They can then place their phones showing the check-in confirmation screen face-down on a scanner, which uses optical character recognition software to verify that the date, time and venue are correct before opening to allow entry.

Alternatively, another scanner on the gantry allows visitors to check in using the QR codes on their TraceTogether tokens or the bar codes on their NRICs.

The gantry also has cameras that can measure body temperature and detect if visitors are wearing masks. Those whose temperature exceeds 37.5 deg C, or who are not wearing masks, will be denied entry.

The SafeAccess system, as it is called, is manufactured by local automation tech firm MQuest. It is designed to work without the need for a human attendant to be present.

Currently, all entrances of Far East malls fitted with the gantries still have staff to assist visitors who may face difficulties performing the self-check-in, said Ms Ang.

Similar gantry systems are also being trialled at malls managed by Frasers Property Retail and CapitaLand, where staff continue to man the entrances.


People using the self check-in automated SafeEntry station at Square 2 shopping mall, on May 3, 2021. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

"The trial will enable us to assess the suitability and feasibility of deploying these self-service check-in gantries at our properties," said a Frasers spokesman. "Factors such as shoppers' safety and convenience when visiting our malls during this trial period will be taken into consideration before we determine future roll-out locations."

A CapitaLand spokesman said: "Our staff are on the ground assisting the public to familiarise themselves with the new system, as we monitor and review users' feedback before considering further deployment."