Coronavirus pandemic

Going to a mall, supermarket or wet market? Take NRIC with you

Shoppers can also use other photo IDs with barcodes to support contact tracing

Shoppers having their temperatures checked and NRICs scanned at the FairPrice outlet in Toa Payoh yesterday to facilitate contact tracing.
Shoppers having their temperatures checked and NRICs scanned at the FairPrice outlet in Toa Payoh yesterday to facilitate contact tracing. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

All shoppers wishing to enter malls, supermarkets and wet markets have been advised to bring along their NRICs or other forms of photo identification with a barcode for scanning to support contact tracing efforts.

Customers going grocery shopping at FairPrice, for example, will have to scan their NRICs for entry at all outlets by the end of the week, said a spokesman for the supermarket chain. The measure, on top of temperature taking, has been progressively rolled out at selected FairPrice outlets since Monday.

All Sheng Siong stores have also begun such measures.

A spokesman for supermarket group Dairy Farm said the same measures have been implemented at all Cold Storage, Marketplace, Jasons and Jasons Deli stores, and at Giant Hypermart as well. The rest of the Giant supermarket outlets will have them in place from next Monday.

Last week, the Ministry of Trade and Industry had said that popular malls and supermarkets with "high traffic" should implement contact tracing measures.

Malls such as Nex, AMK Hub and Jurong Point have rolled out these measures since then. A spokesman for CapitaLand said Bukit Panjang Plaza and Tampines Mall have also done the same, while the rest of the CapitaLand malls, such as Bugis Junction, SingPost Centre and Plaza Singapura, will follow suit by next Monday.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, government agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG) said yesterday that it is "glad" to see that many malls and supermarkets have implemented these measures, and that it understands the rest will do the same "in the next few days".

"We therefore advise customers to bring along their identification cards when visiting the malls and supermarkets, so that they will be allowed to enter," said ESG.

At most of these places, visitors who do not have photo identification on hand can also submit personal details by scanning a QR code via SafeEntry, the national digital check-in system developed by the Government Technology Agency.

Customers can use SingPass Mobile to pre-populate the fields, which include one's name, NRIC and mobile number, or they can manually key in these details on the online form.

According to the Personal Data Protection Commission website, organisations may collect the relevant personal data of visitors to their premises for purposes of contact tracing and other response measures during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Ramping up contact tracing efforts at commercial establishments is among measures taken to stem the transmission of Covid-19.

The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources urged the public to avoid potentially crowded places such as the markets and supermarkets during the Labour Day long weekend.

Straits Times Graphics

About 750 fines were issued to people for breaching safe distancing rules from April 21 to Monday, down from about 1,340 fines given a week before. The number of fines issued for not wearing masks also fell from approximately 430 to 265 in the same period.

But even though the number of people caught flouting rules has fallen (see table), the authorities stressed that the public must continue to take circuit breaker measures seriously.

ESG said it will continue to conduct daily surveillance checks to ensure that businesses and individuals comply with safe distancing and precautionary measures.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2020, with the headline Going to a mall, supermarket or wet market? Take NRIC with you. Subscribe