Singaporeans May Get Fined Or Jailed For Discarding TraceTogether Tokens
With the relaxation of the Covid-19 management measures, Singaporeans no longer need TraceTogether tokens to enter public spaces. Some of us may want to discard the devices as a result.
However, it may be a criminal offence to do so. Both TraceTogether tokens and SafeEntry gantries are still government property. Throwing away these items may cause offenders to incur a fine of up to S$2,000.
Authorities are currently looking into a way to dispose of the tokens and gantries safely to minimise the amount of electronic waste created.
Do not throw away your TraceTogether tokens
Speaking to The Straits Times (ST) on Saturday (7 May), the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) advised the public and businesses to hold onto their tokens and gantries.
This enables the swift re-enforcement of contact tracing and vaccination-related checks should such a need arise again.
In addition, these items are still the property of the government. Technological advisors who spoke to ST said individuals might violate several laws by hastily discarding the tokens or gantries.
For instance, individuals may breach the Penal Code by causing intentional “wrongful loss” to the government. Offenders will risk receiving a jail term of up to two years, a fine or both.
In addition, authorities can find individuals in contempt of the Vandalism Act for damaging and destroying public properties. The maximum charge for such an offence is a fine of up to S$2,000, a jail term of three years or both.
Informing authorities of lost tokens or gantries when the items were actually discarded is also equivalent to providing false information to a public servant.
The penalties for this offence are severe, with a fine of up to S$5,000, a jail term of up to six months or both.
However, the possibility of the government imposing penalties on those who violate the laws in this manner is currently unclear.
ST reports that the government may release more information on the matter within the coming months.
Government exploring ways to dispose of TraceTogether tokens
According to ST, GovTech also said they are looking into ways to dispose of TraceTogether tokens safely.
After the removal of the requirement to check in using TraceTogether tokens, many raised concerns about electronic waste. In response, GovTech assured the public of the measures in place to prevent as much electronic pollution as possible.
They are exploring recycling options that will allow the safe disposal of the tokens and gantries to reduce electronic waste.
Singaporeans can return their TraceTogether tokens to vending machines or selected community centres, where they will be recycled. More details on the locations available are provided on this website.
Keep your gantries & tokens for now
The consequences of throwing away your TraceTogether tokens may not be as dire as those stated above. However, it is still important to hold on to them in the event of a worsening of the pandemic.
Therefore, do keep your TraceTogether tokens. They may yet come in handy.
But for now, they will serve as a token to remember our time during DORSCON Orange.
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Featured image adapted from Smart Nation Singapore on Facebook.