Compulsory TraceTogether check-ins at venues brought forward to May 17

The new measure will apply to all places where checking in with SafeEntry is already in place. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Visitors to shopping malls, offices, schools, places of worship and other venues with higher footfall will have to use either the TraceTogether (TT) app or token to check in from May 17.

This is two weeks earlier than the previously announced date of June 1.

Other modes of SafeEntry check-in - such as scanning a SafeEntry QR code with a phone camera or the Singpass app - will be discontinued from that day.

To ease the transition, the scanning of barcodes on personal identification cards for checking in at venues will be allowed until May 31.

The latest measure, which comes on the back of a rise in community cases of Covid-19 - including 40 linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster - was announced by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (May 4).

It will apply to all places required to enforce check-in with SafeEntry, the national digital check-in tool.

These include places where people are likely to be in close proximity for prolonged periods, such as dine-in food and beverage outlets and gyms.

"This move is to achieve greater coverage and active participation in the TT programme, especially for venues or settings where community spread is most likely to occur," said the SNDGO and MOH.

"This will strengthen digital contact tracing and help us better manage the recent rise in community cases, some of which are currently unlinked and have resulted in the formation of community clusters," the agencies added.

"With more effective digital contact tracing, the speed of isolating close contacts will be raised."

SNDGO and MOH said the combined use of TT and SafeEntry has reduced the average time taken to identify close contacts of Covid-19 cases and contact trace from four days to less than 1.5 days.

The agencies noted that recently, more than 18,000 SMS alerts were sent to individuals identified by SafeEntry as having been to places visited by Covid-19 cases linked to the Tan Tock Seng Hospital cluster.

Both agencies on Tuesday also announced that more venues where people are likely to be in contact for prolonged periods - such as dine-in food and beverage outlets, hotels and sports and fitness centres - will have to deploy the SafeEntry Gateway box from June 15, making it easier for people to check in to venues using their TT token or app.

The venues include schools, hospitals, clinics and places of worship, as well as bank branches, tuition centres and libraries.

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The SafeEntry Gateway box will also help users check that their TT token is working, as it will not emit a beep sound or light up otherwise.

To check that a TT token is working, users can look out for a green light that blinks about once 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 centre, or at token replacement booths that have been set up at selected malls.

Those who have not collected the token can also do so at any CC. More information can be found here.

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