Singapore will now be starting a new travel lane for the business officials and for the high economic value travellers. This will allow people to come to the city-state without going under quarantine for the short-term stays and also reside in a personal dedicated “bubble” facility which will be near the airport.
The travel lane was announced by the Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on 14th December. This helps and builds on Singapore’s efforts to reopen its borders but in a controlled manner. This country which has largely till now beaten back the coronavirus. They announced that it will be the progress to the third and final phase of its national Covid-19 response strategy.
Singapore is a small and it’s open economy is largely dependent on the tourist and the service sectors for growth. They are trying to reopen its borders by establishing green lanes and special travel arrangements with countries where the virus is also under control, countries like New Zealand and Australia.
Authorities are interested to position Singapore as a prime spot for the meetings, events, conferences and exhibitions and the recent new dedicated “bubble” facility that will be near Changi Airport. This bubble facility will be a big part of that.
Applications for the new travel lane will be opening from next month. People from all different countries can apply but must follow to the travel lane’s strict health and the testing protocols.
For the duration of 14-day stay, visitors will be housed in a bubble within a dedicated facility. They will undergo testing after their arrival on days three, five, seven and 11, and must also observe all existing safe management measures. The benefit is that they will be able to conduct meetings with local visitors and with other travel lane groups at the facility which will be provided, however if they will be having meeting with locals, travelers will be needing to remain behind floor-to-ceiling dividers.
Temasek Senior Managing Director Alan Thompson said at a media that Ideally, they would like to have people free to move around, do what they want to do and spend their time where they want to, but this will be a good alternative option as they try to stamp out the virus. He also said that this is an attempt to begin to open up and also reinvigorate the air travel and hospitality sectors in Singapore.
Connect@Changi project will have more than 670 guestrooms and almost near to 170 meeting rooms that can each accommodate from four to around 22 attendees at a same time. This will be fully constructed and will be ready by the mid of year 2021, The facility will include more than 1,300 guestrooms and about 340 different meeting rooms.
The arrangement is primarily focused on the official and multinational business meetings. Its target audience is mainly on the short-term visitors and the ones who don’t intend to stay longer than a few days.
Temasek said in a statement that Guests will be able meet their local counterparts or the other guests from the region that is safe and also they will be in specially designed meeting rooms which will be outfitted with air-tight glass panels. This all will help in reducing the risk of transmission. Entrances, exits and the ventilation systems will be arranged for both guests and the Singapore-based visitors will be separated and there will be a rigorous Covid-19 testing regime for the guest travellers before and throughout their stay.
Food and other meals will also be delivered to their pre-installed shelves that will be outside the guest rooms, and guests can also ask for any additional food and beverage options through the vending machines.
The investment firm said that If these strategies get successful than it can also be implemented at elsewhere also, such as hotels, to strengthen and boost Singapore’s pandemic response.