From June 1st, high-risk facilities will only allow SafeEntry check-ins via the TraceTogether app or token.
All other check-in modes such as using the Singpass app and scanning NRICs will then no longer be valid, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG).
These high-risk facilities refer to high-traffic locations where people will be in close proximity to each other.
This includes places such as schools, shopping malls, places of worship, gyms, restaurants, health facilities, and event venues.
The SafeEntry check-ins via TraceTogether must take place at the entrance to these locations. Users then no longer need to check-in at stores and sub-facilities within the main venue.
This new rule will help improve the efficiency of operations of providers and the convenience of customers.
According to MOH and SNDGG, this new step will also help streamline the contact tracing process.
While the TraceTogether app collects data from close contacts, SafeEntry identifies the list of visited places in TraceTogether. Together, all interaction and location data are seamlessly synchronized on the same platform to support contact tracking and identify cluster links.
This new approach is also expected to reduce contact tracing from four days to just one and a half days.
Earlier this year, the government stipulated that TraceTogether’s adoption rate must be at least 70 percent before Phase 3 can begin.
Currently, more than 90 percent of the population have either downloaded the TraceTogether app and / or collected the TraceTogether token.
What does this mean for our privacy?
Photo credit: MobileAppDaily
The TraceTogether privacy website has highlighted that no GPS location data is being collected.
TraceTogether stated that the data collected by MOH will only be used for contact tracing. An exception is made, however, if the data is required for police investigations or criminal proceedings.
This policy sparked outrage among the Singaporeans when it was introduced in early January. This is because Foreign Secretary Vivian Balakrishnan said back in June 2020 that TraceTogether data would only be used to trace contacts in a press conference.
In January 2021, he made another statement assuring the Singaporeans that the TraceTogether app and token are not for government tracking because they do not reveal users’ live location.
However, with the newly introduced SafeEntry regulation, TraceTogether can collect data to record the user’s location and movement history.
Photo credit: Gov.sg / Bloomberg