Starting from June 1, only SafeEntry check-ins via the TraceTogether app or token would be allowed at high-risk establishments.
All other modes of check-ins such as using the Singpass app and scanning of NRICs will no longer be valid then, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG).
These high-risk establishments refer to places with a high volume of visitors, where people are going to be in close proximity with each other.
This includes places like schools, shopping malls, places of worships, gyms, restaurants, healthcare facilities and event venues.
The SafeEntry check-ins via TraceTogether will have to be done at the entrance of these places. Users will then no longer need to perform other check-ins at stores and sub-establishments within the main venue.
This new rule will help to improve the efficiency of operations of vendors and convenience of customers.
According to MOH and SNDGG, this new move will also help to streamline the process of contact tracing.
While the TraceTogether app collects data of close contacts, SafeEntry within TraceTogether will identify the list of places visited. Together, all the data on interaction and location will be synced seamlessly on the same platform to help contact tracing and identify cluster links.
This new approach is also expected to reduce contact tracing from four days to only one and a half day.
Earlier this year, the government stipulated that the adoption rate of TraceTogether must hit at least 70 per cent before Phase 3 can be rolled out.
Currently, more than 90 per cent of the population have either downloaded the TraceTogether app and/or collected the TraceTogether token.
What Does It Mean for Our Privacy?
On the TraceTogether privacy website, it highlighted that they do not collect data on GPS location.
TraceTogether stated that data collected will be strictly used by MOH for contact tracing. However, an exception is made when the data is needed for police investigation or criminal proceedings.
This policy has previously sparked an outrage among Singaporeans back when it was introduced earlier in January. This is because back in June 2020, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that TraceTogether data would only be used purely for contact tracing in a press conference.
He issued yet another statement in January 2021, assuring Singaporeans that the TraceTogether app and token are not designed for the government to track users, as it does not reveal the live location of users.
However, with the newly-imposed SafeEntry regulation, TraceTogether will be able to collect data to record user’s history of location and movement.
Feature Image Credit: Gov.sg / Bloomberg