In Oct last year, the gahmen announced that residents will either need the TraceTogether app or token to enter some public venues in Singapore by the end of the year.
This included restaurants, workplaces, schools, and shopping malls.
Naturally, Singaporeans engaged in their third favourite pastime – panicking.
When the authorities started distributing TraceTogether tokens, residents flocked to distribution centres like their lives depended on it, and distribution had to be temporarily suspended as a result.
The authorities then announced that TraceTogether-SafeEntry will only be implemented once everyone has had a chance to collect a token in their constituencies.
But, for some reason, some retailers have already launched it.
Authorities Confirm TraceTogether-SafeEntry Not Compulsory Yet After Some Retailers Turned It On
Some businesses in the country were found to have switched on the TraceTogether-SafeEntry function, meaning patrons could only enter unless they had the app or token.
When The Straits Times conducted checks in Bukit Timah, Orchard, Tampines, and Jewel, they found that over 40 retailers had put up posters with the words “TraceTogether” required.
This included F&B outlets and clothing stores, and even a wine shop and tuition centre.
However, most of these establishments still allowed patrons to enter by simply scanning the SafeEntry QR code.
Retailers Told To Switch Function Off
Retailers who have prematurely switched the function on have been told to hold off for now by the authorities.
Speaking to ST, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) confirmed that public venues are not required to implement TraceTogether-SafeEntry at public venues for now.
Two conditions have to be met before this method of entry will be made mandatory:
- every resident has had a chance to collect a token in their constituencies
- a reasonable period of national distribution is achieved
In an email, establishments who were found to have turned the function on were instructed to take down TraceTogether-only posters and to cancel the implementation.
Some residents might be reluctant to use either the TraceTogether app or token, however, after it was revealed that its data can be used for police investigations.
Residents were understandably displeased with this new information, as they were previously told that TraceTogether data that is older than 25 days will automatically be deleted and that it’d only be used for contact tracing.
The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) expressed concern over the revelation, questioning whether the TraceTogether system is suitable for tracing “nefarious activities”.
In response to the growing criticism, the government said it will introduce legislation listing seven categories of serious offences for which TraceTogether data can be used for police investigations.
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