Animated otter, green or white backgrounds on TraceTogether to ease COVID checks

·Editorial Team
·2 min read
INFOGRAPHIC: TraceTogether website
INFOGRAPHIC: TraceTogether website

SINGAPORE — Users of newer versions of the TraceTogether app will now have a SafeEntry check-in pass that displays their vaccination and test statuses, along with an animated otter to ensure that it is not a screenshot. 

In an update on the TraceTogether website on Thursday (11 November), the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) said that the new SafeEntry check-in pass will display either a green or white background when the user checks into a venue using its SafeEntry QR code.

Green means that the user has a green vaccination status, and a cleared test status where applicable. The user can then show this green pass, which includes the animated otter, to venue staff to enable a quicker entry clearance.

Users who are unvaccinated and do not have a cleared test status will have a white background on their check-in screen instead. They will need to provide reasons or documents to be allowed entry at places that require vaccination or test status checks.

White passes will also appear for those who use the group check-in function. In such cases, everyone in the group will need to show the venue staff their vaccination and test status after they have shown the group check-in pass.

"We understand this may create inconvenience, but your data privacy and security takes priority," said GovTech on the group check-in procedure.

This latest update applies to those using version 2.11 and above of the TraceTogether app. Those using an older version of the app can update it to the latest version.

Checking in with SafeEntry became mandatory in May last year, in order to help contact tracers to find close contacts of infected cases quickly.

On Monday, the Ministry of Health's director of medical services Kenneth Mak said that contact tracing is still ongoing, despite the high number of daily cases and the goal of living with endemic COVID-19. However, it is currently done in a more targeted manner, focusing on clusters and locations with vulnerable people such as hospitals and nursing homes.

In January, it was revealed that the police are empowered under the Criminal Procedure Code to obtain TraceTogether data for use in criminal investigations, despite earlier assurances to the contrary from then Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan.

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