Catching a movie on the first weekend since TraceTogether check-ins were introduced at cinemas on Monday proved to be a mostly stress-free experience.
Checks by The Sunday Times over two hours yesterday afternoon found that about half of visitors to the cinemas at the JCube and Jem malls in Jurong East used the TraceTogether app or token to enter. The facilities are run by Shaw Theatres and Cathay Cineplexes respectively.
Nearly all of these cinemagoers used the TraceTogether app, with ST spotting just one person checking in with the token. The other half used the older methods - by scanning SafeEntry QR codes using smartphones, or scanning the NRIC bar code - which will no longer be allowed at cinemas from Nov 16.
These numbers tallied with what cinema operators saw across their outlets over the week. Both Golden Village (GV) and Shaw told ST that more than half of their patrons were using either the app or token.
A GV spokesman said: "Over the past few days, we have also observed a steady increase in... patrons who are ready with their app or token without any additional prompting."
Operators have spared no effort in ensuring customers get on board with the new rules. Signs and standees with information on TraceTogether have been put at prominent spots, and operators have deployed staff to encourage and guide patrons to adopt TraceTogether.
Staff at Shaw JCube, for example, were seen tirelessly informing patrons of the new requirements and the Nov 16 deadline, as well as helping the less tech-savvy patrons to download the app.
Cinemagoer Tao Guang, 28, downloaded the TraceTogether app on the spot in JCube when asked to do so by Shaw staff. He spent about five minutes setting up the app before entering the cinema.
"I don't find the (new TraceTogether check-ins) troublesome because it's something that's necessary if we want to open up further," said Mr Tao, who lives in Yew Tee and works in facilities management. "But I'm not sure how convenient the app is yet, and I would probably prefer to use the token if I am able to collect one."
Token distribution was suspended because of long queues at certain collection centres, but resumed in limited fashion earlier in the week.
Currently, tokens can be collected only at Marsiling and Woodgrove community centres (CCs) by residents who live in the constituency. The remaining CCs will open up for collection progressively from now until mid-December.