SINGAPORE - From next Monday (Feb 1), the public can collect their TraceTogether tokens from any of the 108 community centres and clubs (CCs) in Singapore.
Previously, collection was at selected CCs and people had to collect their tokens from the CCs in their own constituencies.
More than 2.6 million tokens have been collected to date under the TraceTogether programme, which helps with tracing close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 patients so that they can be identified and quarantined quickly to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the community.
At the end of October last year, 400,000 of the tokens had been collected.
Existing token users can get their tokens replaced at the CCs if the batteries have run out or if the tokens are faulty, said the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) in a Facebook post on Thursday.
A token needs to be replaced if it has a blinking red light or when the light has stopped blinking.
If the token has a green light that blinks about once every minute, it is working well.
The TraceTogether tokens are an alternative to the Covid-19 contact-tracing phone app for those who prefer not to use a phone or do not have access to one. Both serve the same function of recording close contact data.
Distribution of the free tokens for residents, as well as pass holders, started in Sept 14 last year at 20 CCs. This was later expanded to another 18 CCs on Oct 2.
But demand for the tokens spiked in October after the Government announced that TraceTogether would be made mandatory to enter places such as restaurants and shopping malls.
The long queues at certain CCs prompted the Government to halt token distribution, before restarting the process in a limited fashion from Oct 29.
The Government later said that the surge in demand for TraceTogether tokens in October was higher than it had expected.
It also clarified that checking in using the TraceTogether token or app, dubbed TraceTogether-only SafeEntry, will be enforced only after everyone who needs a token has had a chance to collect one.
After a 12-week suspension, distribution of the tokens resumed on Jan 18 at the 38 CCs, but this time reportedly without the long queues.
So far, more than 80 per cent of the population has either downloaded the TraceTogether app or collected the token.
During collection at CCs, residents will have to show their original identification document (ID) with barcode and address.
If their ID does not have an address, they will need to have a supporting document, such as a utility bill, that shows their name and address.
Residents may collect tokens on behalf of their family members by producing their IDs.
The app and tokens exchange Bluetooth signals in an encrypted and randomised form with nearby users to quickly track people exposed to confirmed Covid-19 cases. The data, when unencrypted, is linked to a person's phone number and other identification details.
The encrypted Bluetooth data exchanged is stored in the app or token, and does not contain personal identifiable information. Data older than 25 days is also erased automatically.
Only when a user tests positive for Covid-19 will the Ministry of Health (MOH) request that he upload the Bluetooth data to the Government's servers for tracing close contacts. For a token user, he hands over the token to MOH to extract the data.
For more details on collecting the tokens at CCs, visit https://token.gowhere.gov.sg
For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.