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Checking in with the TraceTogether app or token will soon be compulsory for all cinemagoers, with the new measure to be rolled out progressively at cinema halls from Oct 26.

There will be a grace period until Nov 16 for cinema operators to fully implement TraceTogether, after which it will be the only option for patrons for entry.

This means that cinemagoers will no longer be able to gain entry by scanning SafeEntry QR codes with their phone cameras or the Singpass mobile app, or the bar codes on their NRICs.

Independent cinema The Projector was the first operator to break the news to patrons in a Facebook post on Monday (Oct 19), noting that no one will be allowed entry unless they use either the TraceTogether app or token for SafeEntry into the cinema.

The Projector’s general manager, Prashant Somosundram, told The Straits Times that cinema operators had been briefed on what to expect.

“Officially we were told that there is a grace period until Nov 16 to straddle both systems, but we are making (compulsory TraceTogether) effective from the onset on Oct 26 because we are tight on manpower,” he said.

The TraceTogether app includes a function for scanning SafeEntry QR codes, while the tokens sport a QR code with a similar function.

SafeEntry is the national digital check-in system that logs the identification numbers and mobile numbers of individuals visiting venues.

A Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) spokesman said on Monday that the decision was made to have a grace period in order to allow patrons more time to adjust to the new requirement.

“Operators need not acquire new equipment, and only need to install the SafeEntry scanning app on any smartphone in order to scan the QR code on the (TraceTogether) token,” the spokesman added.

Cinemas could be the first of many venues to introduce compulsory TraceTogether-only entry in the coming weeks.

The authorities said last month that they were introducing TraceTogether-only entry on a pilot basis at a few selected venues but would ramp up implementation “after the national distribution of the TraceTogether tokens is well underway”.

The distribution kicked off last month at 20 community centres, and was expanded to a further 100 locations, including malls, this month. More than 100,000 tokens have been collected as of Oct 4, figures released by the SNDGG showed.

Cinemas, hotels, F&B outlets, gyms and certain offices were among the venues listed by SNDGG last month where TraceTogether-only entry could be implemented.

“As such settings have the potential to spark off large outbreaks from a single positive Covid-19 case that spreads beyond the activity or venue, the use of TraceTogether can facilitate rapid and comprehensive contact tracing to stem onward spread,” an SNDGG spokesman said then.

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