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Things you might not know about Singapore's digital check-in system SafeEntry

Do your part in Singapore's contact tracing efforts to help identify clusters

Delfina Utomo

As Singapore gears up to ease 'circuit breaker' measures on June 1, some additional precautions have been put in place. For one, contact tracing efforts have been stepped up with the deployment of SafeEntry. But what exactly is this digital check-in system? And why is it important? Here's a primer on things you need to know about the system. 

What is SafeEntry and how does it work?

SafeEntry is a national digital check-in system that logs in the entry of people to a venue. Before you're permitted to enter places like malls, you have to scan the SafeEntry QR code displayed at the venue or present your identification card with a barcode (e.g. NRIC, driver’s licence, student pass and work permit) for scanning purposes. If there is a confirmed case at that location or venue, contact tracing can be sped up using information from SafeEntry, which in turn prevents new clusters from forming. 

Where is SafeEntry compulsory?

At the moment, SafeEntry is mandatory at all workplaces like offices and factories, schools and educational institutions, healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, hairdressers, supermarkets, selected wet markets, malls, hotels and more.

SafeEntry will also be rolled out to street-hail passengers entering taxis from May 12. Passengers have to scan the SafeEntry QR codes at the point of boarding – if you are unwilling to, taxi drivers can refuse to take you. 

Places like pharmacies, convenience stores and provision shops are encouraged – but not required – to implement SafeEntry for customers. F&B outlets, on the other hand, are not required to deploy SafeEntry for customers for now, as they are only open for delivery and takeaway.

Won't this cause congestion at public spaces and venues?

Yes, individuals have to key in their details before entering and this can cause long queues. Save yourself the time and trouble by only leaving the house when you have to. Also make sure you maintain a safe distance while queuing.

Will I have to declare if I have been overseas?

Travel and health declaration is still required to ensure the safety of individuals within the businesses and venues.

How is SafeEntry different from other visitor management systems like writing down details manually in a logbook?

The use of SafeEntry is a common system used by all establishments, which allows data to be made available to the Ministry of Health quickly. SafeEntry allows information of visitors and employees who may have come into contact with Covid-19 cases to be sent to the authorities automatically for contact tracing. Contact data collected by SafeEntry is only used by authorised personnel for contact tracing purposes, and stringent measures are in place to safeguard the data in accordance with the Government’s data security standards.

What if I forget to bring my IC or mobile phone?

For those among us who aren't glued to their phones, you might be denied entry if you forget these items. However, some venue operators might have staff on hand to assist with manual check-in instead.

I already use TraceTogether, must I still use SafeEntry?

Yes. TraceTogether picks up on Bluetooth signals between phones in close proximity with each other while SafeEntry keeps track of all the people in a location at any given time. Note that the virus can also live on surfaces like escalator handrails and doors.

So what happens to my data? 

Your data will be kept for the sole purpose of contact tracing. All data is encrypted, and the database can only be accessed by authorised personnel and officers. The data will be purged when it is no longer needed for contact tracing purposes.

In the meantime, stay calm and keep updated with what you can and cannot do during the 'circuit breaker'.

Singapore to gradually ease 'circuit breaker' measures from May 12
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