Authorities have told retailers to not implement mandatory TraceTogether (TT)-only check-ins at outlets just yet after finding out that many businesses have begun putting up posters displaying the new requirements.
Under the new requirements, people are not permitted to enter certain establishments unless they check-in using either the TT app or token.
The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) told The Straits Times (ST) on Friday (15 January) that all public venues do not have to implement TT-only SafeEntry right now except for events or businesses that are part of ongoing pilots such as cinemas, live performances and selected nightlife venues.
“TraceTogether-only SafeEntry will be implemented only after everyone has had a chance to collect a token in their constituencies, and a reasonable period of national distribution is achieved,” the SNDGO said.
It added that several government agencies have been getting in touch with businesses that have “mistakenly implemented” TT-only SafeEntry via e-mail, requesting them to put on hold the implementation and remove any TT-only posters or signs on display.
In October last year, the multi-ministry task force handling COVID-19 announced that checking in with TT app or token will be made compulsory at all public venues in Singapore, including restaurants, workplace, schools and shopping malls, by end of December 2020.
However, on 14 December last year, the Ministry of Health (MOH) revealed that compulsory check-ins will be pushed forward to “early” this year, without giving a specific date.
According to ST’s report, it discovered that more than 40 retailers in Bukit Timah, Orchard, Tampines and Jewel had put up SafeEntry QR code posters with the words “TraceTogether Required” displayed earlier this year.
But, these retailers, which ranges from F&B outlets to apparel and beauty product stores, still permitted members of the public to enter the premises by scanning the QR code with smartphone cameras or with the SingPass app.
ST also stated that two outlets that it checked had TT-only SafeEntry activated.
When asked why one of the stores did so, an employee of 1855 The Bottle Shop, a wine retailer located near Sixth Avenue, told ST that they got the instruction from “the office”.
Based on an advisory on the latest SafeEntry requirements published on its website earlier this month, the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) noted that while it encouraged businesses to prepare for the implementation of TT-only SafeEntry by printing out the new QR poster, the function should not be activated at the moment.
The SNDGO pointed out that more details of the roll-out of TT-only SafeEntry will be revealed “at a later date”, and more token distribution points at community centres to be reopened this month.
“We have also been working with businesses to implement (token scanning) to provide the additional alternative to the public for SafeEntry check-in,” it added.