Business travellers arriving in Singapore may soon be able to skip the 14-day quarantine mandated by the government if they opt for special travel arrangements to be introduced next year.
According to the current schedule, a designated lane will open to a limited number of visitors from all over the world in mid-January who plan to stay in Singapore for two weeks or less. These may include executives and other high-economic value visitors, the Ministry of Trade and Industry announced.
“Global business travel has been severely affected by the need for quarantine measures. Different countries will continue to have different risk profiles and we should not let this hinder business meetings,” said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing.
Under these new arrangements, travellers will still be required to get tested before leaving their port of origin; upon arrival in Singapore; and on every other day throughout their visit. It goes without saying that they will also need to adhere to strict social distancing rules and other Covid-19 safety precautions.
The main difference between the new visitor regulations and the previous ones is that visitors will no longer have to spend up to two weeks in a quarantine facility before being allowed to meet their local counterparts. Upon arrival, they will be taken straight to Connect@Changi, a special location near the airport, where they can check in and hold meetings.
At the facility, visitors can use designated meeting rooms that are separated by air-tight glass panels. Those who need to meet local executives will have to stay behind the partition.
The special accommodation will have around 670 guestrooms and 170 meeting rooms. Once construction is completed in mid-2021, the number of rooms is expected to double.
Minister Chan said that the Connect@Changi initiative aims to establish Singapore as a safe and secure meeting place for travellers who may not otherwise be able to conduct face-to-face meetings due to travel restrictions between their countries. The initiative will also play an important role in supporting the revival of Singapore’s air hub status and hospitality sector.