Catching a movie on the first weekend since TraceTogether check-ins were introduced at cinemas on Monday (Oct 26) proved to be a mostly stress-free experience.
Checks by The Straits Times over two hours on Saturday afternoon (Oct 31) found that about half of the movie-goers to the cinemas at the JCube and Jem malls in Jurong East used the TraceTogether app or token to enter.
The facilities are run by Shaw Theatres and Cathay Cineplexes respectively.
Nearly all of these cinema-goers used the TraceTogether app, with ST spotting just one person checking in with the token.
The other half used the older methods via scanning SafeEntry QR codes with their smartphone, or NRICs’ bar codes, which will no longer be allowed at cinemas from Nov 16.
These numbers tallied with what cinema operators were seeing across their outlets over the week. Both Golden Village (GV) and Shaw told ST that more than half of their patrons were using either the app or token.
“Over the past few days, we have also observed a steady increase in… patrons who are ready with their app or token without any additional prompting,” a GV spokesman said.
Operators have spared no effort to make sure that their customers get on-board with the new requirements.
Signages and standees emblazoned with TraceTogether information are displayed at prominent spots, and operators have also deployed staff to encourage and guide patrons to adopt TraceTogether.
Staff at Shaw JCube, for example, were seen tirelessly informing patrons of the new requirements and the Nov 16 deadline, as well as helping the less tech-savvy patrons to download the app.
Movie-goer Tao Guang, 28, downloaded the TraceTogether app on the spot in JCube when asked to do so by Shaw staff.
He spent about five minutes setting up the app before entering the cinema.
“I don’t find the (new TraceTogether check-ins) troublesome because it’s something that’s necessary if we want to open up further,” said Mr Tao, who lives in Yew Tee and works in facilities management.
“But I’m not sure how convenient the app is yet, and I would probably prefer to use the token if I was able to collect one.”
Token distribution was temporarily suspended because of long queues at certain collection centres but resumed in limited fashion earlier this week. Currently, tokens can only be collected from the Marsiling and Woodgrove community centres (CCs) by residents who live in the constituency.
The remaining CCs will open up for collection progressively from now until mid-December.
Mr Soefian Onggo, 68, who was also at JCube, was shown by Shaw staff how to use the QR code scanner function in the TraceTogether app. He had downloaded the app some weeks ago, but did not know such a function existed.
“I also didn’t know that there is a token that we can collect and use. But now that I’ve learnt how to use the app I think I will stick with it. It’s not so different from using my phone camera (to scan QR codes),” said the security guard.