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TraceTogether and SafeEntry enhancements announced in preparation for further opening of the economy

In a release by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office and the Ministry of Health Singapore, a number of improvements made to the TraceTogether (TT) Programme have been announced.

The TraceTogether Programme has helped increase the speed and effectiveness of contact tracing in Singapore.

Nation-wide distribution of TraceTogether Tokens will start from 14 September and the aim is to have the distribution completed by November.

This will enable more Singapore residents to be protected by the TT Programme, particularly the elderly who may not have a suitable smart phone to operate the App. The government is enhancing SafeEntry to work more closely with TT. For certain venues with higher-risk activities such as larger-scale business-to-business events, SafeEntry will require the TT App or Token to check-in.

Supplementing SafeEntry with proximity data from TT will enhance safety for participants, as they will be ensured of coverage under the TT Programme. This “TT-only SafeEntry” will first be piloted at selected venues, and will be expanded over time once the national distribution of the TT Tokens is well underway.

From 10 September, a new Self-Check service and SMS service will be launched so that people can be alerted if they have visited the same venues at the same time as COVID19 cases.

Both services will be based on individuals’ SafeEntry records. These measures will support the further opening of the economy by ensuring more effective contact tracing for the community.

Improvements in the Contact Tracing Process

The TT Programme – comprising the TT App on smart phones and the TT Token – provides the initial list of close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases. Together with SafeEntry and associated digital systems, the TT Programme has enabled the contact tracing teams to reduce the time taken to identify and quarantine a close contact, from 4 days to less than 2 days currently. TT has also expanded the coverage of contact tracing and has reduced the possibility of a close contact being inadvertently left out of quarantine.

TraceTogether only SafeEntry Check-in for designated venues

Since 3 July 2020, GovTech has updated the TT App to enable the App to be used for SafeEntry check-in by scanning the QR code of the activity or venue through the App.

Starting from October 2020, larger-scale business-to-business (B2B) events such as meetings and conferences that are being piloted will require all participants to have a TT App or Token to conduct SafeEntry check-in.

SNDGG and MOH will work with the event organisers to ensure that TT Tokens are available on-site for distribution and registration for individuals without the TT App. This was trialled at the first MICE pilot event held at the end of August which was attended physically by Singapore-based attendees, and virtually by international attendees.

Beyond the B2B events, more activities and venues would progressively trial TT-only SafeEntry to make such activities safer for the rest of Singapore by reducing the risk of onward spread, and facilitating future relaxations where possible. As such settings have the potential to spark off large outbreaks from a single positive COVID-19 case that spread beyond the activity or venue, the use of TT can facilitate rapid and comprehensive contact tracing to stem the onward spread.

To give the public time and opportunity to collect the Token, the government will first implement TTonly SafeEntry at a few selected venues (where TT Tokens will be distributed on-site for those who need them).

It will progressively expand TT-only SafeEntry to other venues only after the national distribution of the TT Tokens is well underway. Government agencies are also working with the private sector who are interested in supplying contact tracing tokens to companies, to ensure that these Tokens and the national TT Token can mutually detect one another and contribute to a unified contact tracing ecosystem.

Where TT-only SafeEntry is implemented, SafeEntry check-in must be performed either by (a) scanning the activity or venue QR code using the TT App on your mobile phone; or (b) having the activity organisers or venue staff scan the unique QR code on the TT Token registered to you.

GovTech will also be testing new solutions that can help increase the convenience and improve the user experience of TT-only SafeEntry.

New Service For Public to Self-Monitor Health based on SafeEntry records

MOH currently publishes a list of public locations visited by COVID-19 cases during their infectious period.

Responding to public feedback, the government will introduce a SafeEntry Location Matching Self-Check service for individuals to check whether they have been in close proximity to COVID19 cases, based on their own SafeEntry records.

This Self-Check service will be available on an updated version of the TT App that is available from 10 September.

In addition, SMS notification alerts will be sent to a smaller group of individuals who were at locations that are assessed to pose a higher risk of transmission, such as dining places and gyms where people do not wear masks for extended periods of time.

Those whose SafeEntry check-in and check-out timings overlap with the COVID-19 case in such locations will receive an SMS alert. The SMS notification service will begin from 10 September.

To ensure the accuracy of the Self-Check service and SMS service, authorities urge businesses to provide accurate SafeEntry address records, including postal codes.

Individuals are reminded to provide updated phone numbers for their TT App. Individuals should check-in and check-out of locations promptly using SafeEntry to avoid any erroneous notifications from these 2 services. This also helps our contact tracers more accurately establish links and transmission chains.

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