TraceTogether check-ins rolled out at 40 mosques in Singapore

A congregant uses the TraceTogether token to check in at Masjid Al-Falah located at Bideford Road. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - Congregants are now able to use either the TraceTogether app or token to check in at 40 of Singapore's 71 mosques, with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) gearing up for the end of the year, when TraceTogether check-ins will be made compulsory at public venues.

TraceTogether check-ins were introduced at an initial 24 mosques on Oct 19, and at another 16 mosques on Oct 23.

Muis did not say when TraceTogether check-ins will be rolled out at the remaining 31 mosques, or when such check-ins will be made compulsory.

For now, congregants can still use the older methods of scanning SafeEntry QR codes with a phone camera or the SingPass mobile app, or bar codes on NRICs. But staff at mosques have been instructed to encourage congregants to download the TraceTogether app.

The Government announced on Oct 20 that using the TraceTogether app or token to check in would be made mandatory at public venues, such as cinemas, restaurants, workplaces, schools and shopping malls by the end of December.

One mosque, Masjid Al-Falah in Orchard Road, has even introduced a Green Lane that allows worshippers using the app or token to gain entry quicker.

"Using the app or token makes the flow of congregants entering our facility faster. Many of our congregants are actually workers around the area, so time is of the essence for them," said Masjid Al-Falah executive chairman Khairul Anwar on Friday (Oct 30).

"Previously, we only allowed entry by way of scanning (the bar codes on) ICs so that would have taken a bit of time."

He added that TraceTogether also gives congregants greater peace of mind with the "enhanced safety" from real-time contact tracing.

About half of the 100 congregants who came for the first midday prayer service on Friday were seen using TraceTogether. The vast majority were using the app, with The Straits Times spotting only three congregants with tokens.

Mr Yusope Muntil, 75, was one of them. He collected his token from Crawford Community Centre about two weeks ago, when tokens were still being distributed at nearly 40 community centres (CCs).

"Using the token is better for me because sometimes when I go out, I might forget to bring my IC along (to scan), and I'm not sure how to use the app," said the cleaner. "The process (to get into the mosque) was very fast and smooth."

Delivery rider Azizan Mat Shukor, 35, said he collected a token at Cairnhill Community Centre three weeks ago, after mosque staff suggested that he do so.

"I use it everywhere I go, not just when I come to the mosque. It's much more convenient than using (the app on) my phone because sometimes it might be low on battery, or I don't have a good data connection," he said.

Token distribution was halted on Wednesday by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) following reports of long queues at some community centres/clubs (CCs) last weekend, and resumed in a limited fashion on Thursday at Marsiling Community Club.

New collection venues will now be opened one constituency at a time until December, and residents can only collect from the CC in the constituency they live in. The next CC to open for collection is Woodgrove on Saturday.

The SNDGG said on Thursday that TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be enforced only when everyone who needs a token is able to collect one at a CC near them.

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