April 30, 2021
By Emily Lim
A great number of safety apps were developed all around the world to combat the COVID-19 outbreak within countries. Inevitably, the pandemic has led to tightening of travel restrictions and stricter entry requirements. But travel is gradually making a comeback now – starting with business travel.
Safety apps are a quick and innovative response that rides on the widespread use of smartphones. In order to help you when travelling, we created a list of government-approved safety apps for contact tracing and safety measures in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Contact tracing apps use the Bluetooth and GPS functions in mobile devices to identify, assess and manage people who are COVID-19 carriers or those who have had close contact. It is an efficient way towards flattening the pandemic curve.
Users are required to scan QR codes at each location they visit for contact tracing purposes. If someone is tested positive for the disease, the data collected through the app will be used to identify close contact people and provide support. Privacy breaches and security risks were some of the concerns when these safety apps were first introduced. Since then, these apps have earned a position of trust and people have accepted its use as the new normal.
First, it is important to know the latest travel updates for your destination. If you are travelling any time soon, Covid Entry Check is a dynamic tool to help you navigate travel restrictions and be prepared for entry requirements. Key in your location and destination and have all the information you need at your fingertips!
The information from Covid Entry Check also powers the web-based TruTrip app. When searching for flights on the TruTrip app, you will see a brief snapshot of route information to help you prepare for travel.
The next step once your travel arrangements are in order is to download the correct safety app for the country you are visiting on your mobile device. Here are all the safety apps to know in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
Business travellers who are planning to travel for work should download the MySejahtera app. Developed by the Malaysian government, MySejahtera helps to monitor the status of public health. You can register for an account using your mobile number or email address and complete a self-health assessment. The MySejahtera app enables you to check in at premises by scanning QR codes before entry. Based on your self-health assessment and check-in data, your app will reflect your risk status. The app also enables you to locate the nearest hospitals and clinics for screening and treatments, track COVID-19 hotspots, and obtain virtual health advisory.
The Government of Malaysia assures users that personal information will only be used for the purpose of managing the COVID-19 outbreak. Personal information will not be shared to any third party. If you are identified as a COVID-19 patient, your identity and personal information is protected under the confidentiality of medical records. The check-in data collected is only stored for a period of 90 days and purged thereafter. Currently, the MySejahtera app is also used for vaccination registrations of Malaysians.
The SELangkahapp by Malaysia’s Selangor state government is also similar in function to MySejahtera. However, the SELangkah app does not collect your GPS location. With your consent to provide limited information (name and phone number), you will be informed immediately if you have been exposed to an infected person. Although businesses across the country can register their premises on SELangkah, the MySejahtera app is more widely used.
TraceTogether is a contact tracing app that is designed at the Government Technology Agency of Singapore. Travellers into Singapore and all Singaporeans are required to download the TraceTogether.
To register, you will need:
“COVID-19 and other novel viruses do not respect national boundaries. Neither should humanity’s response. In a globalised world, with high volumes of international travel (until very recently 🙁 ) any decentralised contact tracing solution will need mass adoption to maximise network effects.”Quoted from TraceTogether
“COVID-19 and other novel viruses do not respect national boundaries. Neither should humanity’s response. In a globalised world, with high volumes of international travel (until very recently 🙁 ) any decentralised contact tracing solution will need mass adoption to maximise network effects.”
Based on your check-in data, the app will notify all the patrons of premises you have visited if you’ve been exposed to any COVID-related risk in the past 15 days. Bluetooth signals are used to measure the proximity and no private information such as your whereabouts will be recorded. Data collected through Bluetooth is encrypted and data for longer than 25 days is automatically deleted from your device.
If you are travelling to Singapore, Do ensure that the Bluetooth mode on your mobile is turned on at all times to enable TraceTogether’s functions. The TraceTogether must remain installed and data retained for at least 14 days after leaving Singapore for easy contact tracing should you test positive for COVID-19.
Travellers in Singapore are also advised to download One Map, an authoritative national map that provides users with timely updates. One Map was created over 9 years ago and includes bus route information, live traffic information, parking lot availability and even land ownership information. Not only does the app provide you directions, but in the midst of COVID-19, also helps you in finding the nearest Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) if you need any medical assistance in Singapore. This digital map will track information such as the number of users and the frequency of use. However, users can modify the browser settings according to your own preferences.
PeduliLindungi is Indonesia’s contact tracing application that collects location data from users. Users will be notified if they were in vicinity or close contact with a Covid-19 patient.
The collected data is encrypted to avoid breaching of privacy and will only be accessed if there’s identified cases. This allows the authorities to trace and track in a more effective way and provide updates that are immediate. If you require medical attention, the PeduliLindungi app also includes a telehealth feature. The feature enables you to carry out a self-health assessment and consultation session with a doctor remotely.
Meanwhile, other apps like Halodoc and SehatQ also allow users to make appointments, virtual consultation and to get useful health tips all on a one-stop platform. Governed by the laws of the Republic of Indonesia, the apps will only collect data that are to be used in connection to the apps. However, since SehatQ does not provide an English option, unless you are fluent in Indonesian, it is recommended that you use Halodoc instead.
If you are seeking expert information on your health-related questions, you can chat with a doctor on the Halodoc app. You can also buy vitamins and supplements on its online health store and receive your purchases at your doorstep. In the midst of COVID-19, Halodoc also provides lab home services for swab, rapid and antigen testing.
The recently-announced travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong will begin on May 26. If you are travelling to Hong Kong, you will be required to download the Leave Home Safe app. During the duration of their stay in Hong Kong, travellers are required to scan the LHS QR codes displayed at the relevant premises they visit, and retain their LHS app visitation records for 31 consecutive days after leaving Hong Kong.
Those confirmed positive for COVID-19 are required to upload their encrypted visit records to the Centre of Health Protection (CHP). If you were recently in the same venue at the same time with a COVID-19 positive patient, the Leave Home Safe app will notify you with information of exposure and health advice.
Depending on Hong Kong’s entry requirements, other travellers (not from Singapore) may be subject to compulsory quarantine in Hong Kong. For travellers under quarantine, you will be required to download the Stay Home Safe app and wear a location-tracker wristband. You must keep the Stay Home Safe mobile app running on your smartphone, and turn on the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and location service functions.
You are advised to pay close attention to your mobile device since the app may at any time request you to confirm your presence at your place of quarantine. You must do so by scanning the QR code on your wristband. Upon expiry of the quarantine period, you may uninstall the app on the smartphone, cut off and dispose of the wristband. At this point, you should download the Leave Home Safe app during your visit in Hong Kong.
As borders open to travellers in 2021, countries are continuously assessing ways to manage risks of cross-border disease transmissions. In order to ensure your travel plans go smoothly, keep up to date with travel restrictions and entry requirements for the countries you plan to visit.
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