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Singapore to distribute TraceTogether token from Sept 14, new self-check and SMS alert services to be rolled out (VIDEO)

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The TraceTogether tokens exchange Bluetooth signals with other tokens nearby or with mobile phones that are running the TraceTogether mobile application. — Gov.sg pic via TODAY
The TraceTogether tokens exchange Bluetooth signals with other tokens nearby or with mobile phones that are running the TraceTogether mobile application. — Gov.sg pic via TODAY

SINGAPORE, Sept 10 — TraceTogether tokens will be distributed islandwide from Sept 14 onwards, starting with Jalan Besar and Tanjong Pagar, due to the higher concentration of senior citizens in these estates, the Ministry of Health said in a statement yesterday. 

The distribution of these tokens, which can be used for contact tracing, is expected to be completed by November.

These tokens exchange Bluetooth signals with other tokens nearby or with mobile phones that are running the TraceTogether mobile application.

MOH also announced that a new self-check service will be introduced today, which will alert people if they have visited the same venues at the same time as Covid-19 cases, based on their SafeEntry records.

TraceTogether tokens

Residents can go to the website to get details on when and where they can collect their TraceTogether tokens, which will be distributed free to everyone.

“We encourage every resident in Singapore to either download the TraceTogether app onto their mobile phone, or to collect a TraceTogether token. A higher adoption rate makes the TraceTogether programme and contact tracing efforts more efficient and effective,” MOH said.

From October, the Government will be piloting SafeEntry check-ins through the TraceTogether app or token at selected venues, to facilitate the easing of Covid-19 safety measures at these places.

Once the national distribution of the tokens are underway, the authorities will increase the number of venues where SafeEntry check-ins are done through the TraceTogether app or token.

These could include venues where there may be larger groups coming together, especially where there is close interaction among attendees; or where masks may not be worn at all times due to the nature of the activities, MOH said.

Right now, individuals check in to venues via SafeEntry by using their mobile phone to scan a QR code or getting their identification cards scanned. Supplementing SafeEntry with proximity data from TraceTogether will enhance safety for participants, MOH said.

“This will ensure better confidence in mitigating the risk of formation of large clusters, and could allow for a safer increase in capacity limits at these events and premises with any potential future easing of measures.”

Checking in with SafeEntry via TraceTogether was first tested at a business conference event held here at the end of August, MOH said. 

During a virtual press conference on Wednesday held by the governmental task force handling the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, who is the Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, said that Singapore is now in a phase of opening up for conferences and other business events.

“For these kinds of events with more people interacting, it‘s not enough to know who’s been in this building in the last hour. You want to know of that group of people who happen to be in that building (and had been) in close proximity to each other. In order to have that level of granularity, you do need proximity data,” he said. 

Self-check service

From today, MOH will introduce a new self-check service and short message service (SMS) service so that people can be alerted if they have visited the same venues at the same time as Covid-19 cases, based on their own SafeEntry records.

Individuals will be able to access the new self-check service through the TraceTogether app. They can also access the self-check service via SingPass Mobile or wereyouthere.safeentry.gov.sg by logging in with their SingPass, the password-protected system for government e-services.

In addition, SMS alerts through phones will be sent to a smaller group of individuals who were at high-risk locations at the same time as Covid-19 cases.

These locations include dining places and gyms, where people do not wear masks for extended periods of time. — TODAY

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