Why it's not compulsory to do a SafeEntry check-out

Even without check-out data, the Ministry of Health can estimate how long a person had been in various venues.
Even without check-out data, the Ministry of Health can estimate how long a person had been in various venues.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - It is not necessary to do a SafeEntry check-out when a person leaves a location.

This will make life easier for the public and venue operators and will not hinder contact tracing, noted the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO).

The office said last week that check-out data helps determine how long a Covid-19 case had stayed at a particular venue.

While checking out is encouraged, it is not mandatory, even when SafeEntry check-ins using the TraceTogether app or token become compulsory from next Monday (May 17), the office said.

SafeEntry check-ins are needed at many public venues - including workplaces, dine-in eateries and malls - to help the authorities quickly identify and isolate people who have come in close contact with a Covid-19 patient.

The SNDGO said that even without check-out data, the Ministry of Health (MOH) can estimate how long a person had been in various venues based on SafeEntry check-ins at other locations, for example.

MOH will verify the information during contact tracing interviews.

"The contact tracing process is further augmented with close contact information obtained from TraceTogether, and it is therefore important for individuals to download the TraceTogether app or make sure their token is working," said the SNDGO.

Working tokens blink a green light about once a minute. If it is blinking red or there is no light at all, the user can replace the token at a community centre or at replacement booths in selected malls.

More details can be found at this website.

Members of the public have also expressed concerns over a new check-in method that involves putting a phone with the app close to a SafeEntry Gateway device.

A successful check-in will cause the box version of the gateway to beep and show a green light, but it does not record a history of the person's check-in on the TraceTogether app.

It also means that there is no need to check-out if a gateway check-in has been done.

Some people are worried as they may forget when they visited a venue if a Covid-19 case is later found to have also been there.

The SNDGO said that when the SafeEntry Gateway registers a successful check-in from the TraceTogether app, it does not return any information to the app so no check-in history is displayed.

"If you prefer to keep a record of your SafeEntry check-ins, you can opt to scan the venue's QR (code) using your TraceTogether app instead," it added.