Singapore cinemas to implement mandatory TraceTogether digital contact tracing

Possibly the first of many venues where TraceTogether is compulsory for entry

The Singapore government has made it mandatory for cinemagoers to check in with the TraceTogether app or token before entering movie theatres.

Implementation of the digital contact tracing measure will begin on October 26 and become compulsory for entry to cinemas on November 16. Indie cinema The Projector broke the news yesterday (October 19) in a post on social media.

TraceTogether is a digital contact tracing measure rolled out by the Singapore government in the form of a mobile app and a physical token. The former was released on March 20 and the latter June 28. Distribution for the physical tokens kicked off in September; residents of the city-state will now be able to collect their tokens at over 100 locations.

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According to the official TraceTogether website, the app and token exchange “encrypted and anonymised” Bluetooth signals with other nearby devices and saves the data for 25 days. This allows users to be informed if they have been in prolonged physical proximity with someone who has contracted COVID-19. TraceTogether does not collect data about GPS locations or one’s WiFi or mobile network, the Singapore government claims.

From November 16, the use of SafeEntry – the digital, venue-specific check-in system that logs guests’ national identification numbers and phone numbers – will be phased out at cinemas.

According to the Straits Times, cinemas could be the first of many venues where using TraceTogether for entry will be made compulsory. The government’s Smart Nation And Digital Government Group said other potential venues include hotels, eateries, gyms and offices.

Singapore cinemas reopened on July 13, and, since October 1, have allowed a maximum of 150 patrons in each hall.

In August, the Singapore government announced pilots of small-scale live performances, which were permitted from September 11 onwards at select venues with safety measures in place, including restricting the audience size to 50.

This week, the Singapore government is due to announce specific measures to support the ailing nightlife industry, as part of a pivot “from broad-based relief to more targeted support”.

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