That habit of tapping on a tablet or scanning a QR code when entering a mall in Singapore could be a thing of the past, as contact tracing will be phased out later next week.
The government today said it would reduce the use of TraceTogether and SafeEntry, measures which had become daily experience during the pandemic, according to the CNA news site.
TraceTogether uses a mobile app or token to help authorities find close contacts of people who may be infected with the coronavirus. SafeEntry is used at site entry points to register visitors.
Authorities announced today that they will relax vaccination-differentiated safety management measures from April 26 for most sites.
Exceptions are events with more than 500 attendees at any one time, nightlife establishments where patrons dance, and food and beverage outlets, according to CNA.
These measures are a big step forward for the country, which is gradually emerging from more than two years of restrictions necessary to stem the spread of Covid-19.
As rapid contact tracing tools, TraceTogether and SafeEntry have been essential in allowing authorities to isolate cases and prevent the spread early on, especially before a vaccine becomes available in 2021.
Now, as the recovery is underway, the removal of these contact tracing tools will bring more convenience to consumers and businesses. On the one hand, there will be no more barriers to entry.
At the same time, privacy-conscious people will be happy not having to carry around a token or keep an app running on their phone for contact tracing purposes.
Early last year news that data collected for contact tracing was being used for police investigations sparked public outcry and prompted the government to tighten rules around its use.