COVID-19: Public urged to bring along NRICs to supermarkets, malls

Yahoo News Singapore | 29 April 2020 | Amir Hussain

SINGAPORE — Amid enhanced circuit breaker measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, more supermarkets and malls will be scanning patrons’ National Registration Identification Cards (NRICs) or asking them to enter the NRIC numbers via an online national visitor registration system as part of their contact tracing regime.

Yahoo News Singapore understands that a number of malls and NTUC FairPrice and Dairy Farm Group Singapore outlets have begun scanning customers’ NRICs or asking them to use the government-developed cloud-based check-in system SafeEntry, alongside taking their temperatures.

Among them are NTUC FairPrice outlets at Whitesands, Junction 8, Tanjong Pagar Plaza and Serangoon North Ave 1, Cold Storage outlets at Great World City and Takashimaya, ION Orchard and NEX.

By scanning a QR code, patrons can authenticate their visit to a supermarket or mall on SafeEntry via SingPass Mobile or by manually entering their name, NRIC and mobile number.

Last Tuesday (21 April), the authorities announced that temperature screening will be conducted at all supermarkets and malls. Additionally, patrons visiting a list of 16 malls with supermarkets in them and four other non-mall supermarkets with high traffic will also be required for provide their particulars for contact tracing.

When contacted on Wednesday (29 April), a spokesperson for Enterprise Singapore told Yahoo News Singapore, “We are glad to see that many malls and supermarkets have since implemented temperature screening and contact tracing, and understand that the rest will do the same in the next few days.

“We therefore advise customers to bring along their identification card when visiting the malls and supermarkets, so that they will be allowed to enter,” the spokesperson added.

When contacted, an NTUC FairPrice spokesperson said, “The latest initiative to facilitate contact tracing at our stores is in compliance with the latest precautionary measures set by the authorities.”

The spokesperson added, “FairPrice continues to work closely with the authorities and support various measures such as safe distancing, personal protection, as well as enhanced cleaning schedules to protect the well-being of our staff and customers during this period.”

Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to Dairy Farm Group with queries on the NRIC scanning and contact tracing procedures.

Visit malls, supermarkets alone whether it was considering limiting the entry of customers to supermarkets and malls by the last digit of their NRICs, or whether it was considering limiting the frequency of customers’ entries to supermarkets and malls.

Last Friday (24 April), popular baking supplies chain Phoon Huat said it will limit entry to its and RedMan shops based on NRIC or Foreign Identification Number (FIN) number.

The announcement came after the National Environment Agency said last Tuesday that it would restrict access to four popular markets – where long queues were still seen – based on NRIC/FIN numbers: Geylang Serai Market, Block 104/105 Yishun Ring Road (Chong

Pang Market), Block 20/21 Marsiling Lane, and Block 505 Jurong West Street 52. Patrons with an even last digit (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) in their NRIC/FIN numbers can only visit these markets on the even dates of the month, and those with an odd last digit (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) can only visit these markets on the odd dates of the month.

As of Wednesday (29 April) noon, a total of 15,641 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Singapore.

A total of 14 people have died from complications of the virus here while another fourpatients who tested positive for the virus have died from causes unrelated to COVID-19.

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