The participation rate in the TraceTogether programme has “gone past 70 per cent”, said Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative Vivian Balakrishnan on Wednesday (23 December) — in line with one of the conditions that must be met to enter Phase 3 of Singapore’s post-COVID circuit breaker reopening.
Dr Balakrishnan told reporters at the sidelines of TraceTogether token distribution in Kampong Kembangan Community Club (CC) in Eunos that more than two million people have downloaded the TraceTogether app and have registered and are using it.
More than 70 per cent of Singapore residents are using the TraceTogether app or the token, he said.
“In addition, since 14 September when we started the distribution of the TraceTogether tokens, we have distributed so far about 1.75 million tokens. So that’s a significant number and I’m very grateful for the trust and confidence of Singaporeans,” CNA reported Dr Balakrishnan as saying.
However, he acknowledged that the token “has become a rather popular or useful item for most people”, and hence “our decision to make extra”.
He continued saying that the mandatory TraceTogether-only SafeEntry check-ins will only be imposed at venues such as cinemas and malls when “everyone who needs to or wishes to has access to a token or the app”.
Token distribution temporarily suspended due to spike in demand
Prior to this, the authorities announced that it will be compulsory to use the TraceTogether mobile application or token to check-in at venues such as workplaces, schools, malls as well as food and beverage outlets in tandem with the Government’s plans to further reopen the economy under Phase Three.
People will not be able to check-in by way of scanning their identification cards or SafeEntry QR codes with their phones at the above venues. Instead, they will be required to use TraceTogether.
As such, the distribution of tokens, meant for those who do not have a smartphone to install the app such as children and the elderly, kicked off in September at 38 community centres (CCs) across the country.
It was reported that TraceTogether tokens demand had spiked right after the government announced in October that TraceTogether use will be made mandatory to gain entry at public venues.
The Smart Nation and Digital Government Group had to temporarily suspend token distributions due to the long queues at certain CCs, before resuming on 29 October with one constituency at a time to “better match demand”.
Responding to this today, Dr Balakrishnan said that the amounts of tokens produce will “clearly” be enough for everybody who needs one, as up to 5 million tokens would have been manufactured and delivered by end-February 2021.
“Over the next few weeks and months, as the additional stocks of tokens come in, we will reopen the community centres who currently are not distributing tokens. So I want to emphasise that there is no need to rush,” he stressed.