All You Need to Know About TraceTogether

GovTech Singapore
GovTech Singapore

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The TraceTogether app or token will be mandatory at cinemas, restaurants, workplaces, schools and shopping malls by the end of December, following Singapore’s move into phase three. 

However, the TraceTogether token distribution came to an abrupt halt after residents formed snaking queues to pick up the tokens. Last week saw the collection of roughly 400,000 tokens before the spike. After news broke that the use of the tokens would now be mandatory, demand rose sharply. Those planning to catch a movie in the cinema would need a token, or have the TraceTogether application installed, by November 16. 

The use of the TraceTogether token and app will replace the current SafeEntry QR code system for entrance to public areas. 

High demand for tokens

Long queues were formed last Saturday at the token distribution centres. Some people had to queue for roughly 45 minutes. 

Despite the pressure incurred, the government has announced its plans to produce and distribute about 2.7 million tokens, with potential for increased production, depending on demand. This means that there will be enough tokens for everyone interested. 

The Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) has rescheduled the distribution among the community centres. The collection of tokens will now be staggered, one constituency at a time, to prevent crowds and long wait times. 

The tokens are being gradually distributed to the public until November, starting with estates populated with a higher number of senior citizens. 

How does it work?

The TraceTogether token is a standalone device that uses Bluetooth technology to operate. It exchanges signals with other tokens or smartphone devices running the TraceTogether app. The token will serve to encrypt the data of the devices nearby, store the information, then delete it 25 days later. 

The token will be registered to a person’s name, and it will not record the user’s location. The main feature of the token is its ability to recognise who has come into contact with the user. Personal details of the people involved such as names, mobile numbers, and identification numbers are stored in a separate system, not on the device. 

Data collected will be accessed and decrypted only by the Ministry of Health. The device needs to be surrendered to the authorities for contact tracing if a user tests positive for Covid-19. 

The token works similarly to the TraceTogether app available on mobile devices. Users only need to do decide between the app or the token as they are interoperable. 

Who needs it most?

All residents aged seven and above including pass holders are entitled to one token. Children and the elderly, who do not have a smartphone or the latest device compatible with the trace together app, will be need a token. The token is necessary if they can no longer scan the barcodes on the NRIC or student concession passes.

The use of trace together is to further facilitate contact tracing due to COVID-19. The TraceTogether system will replace the save entry system currently used in most and public spaces. Those who are unable to use their mobile phone in any circumstance will also need a TraceTogether token for contact tracing. 

Where to collect your tokens

All residents, including pass holders aged seven and above, are eligible to collect a token at your constituency community centres/clubs. 

To collect your token, simply flash your original NRIC with a barcode. You may collect tokens on your behalf of your family members by producing their IDs. The TraceTogether mobile booths will no longer be available from 28 October 2020.

Those interested in collecting the tokens can find out more here.

Don’t modify your tokens

It is also essential to not make any modifications to your trace together token. Some users are allegedly breaking open their tokens to remove the battery and even swap out the QR code for that of another device. 

Such acts of misuse is a crime, and any physical damage or alterations to the tokens can cause one to be liable for an offence of mischief. 

The offence carries a jail term of up to two years, a fine, or both.

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