On Tuesday the 15th of December the Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry made an announcement that a new initiative would be launched, permitting a limited number of high level business officials and high economic value travelers to travel to Singapore. This initiative indicates the efforts by the Singapore government to re-open the border in a safe and controlled manner.
The Connect@Singapore initiative will setup a travel lane for a limited number of business people to travel to Singapore for a period of up to 14 days. This initiative is limited to a certain number of persons, due to safety restrictions and in order to ensure the safety of Singapore citizens.
How Will the Travel Lane be Implemented?
Successful applicants of the initiative will be permitted entry into Singapore where they will be able to stay for a period of up to 14 days in a designated facility. During the period of stay the travelers will have to undergo routine medical checks in order to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them.
Any person who travels to Singapore under this initiative will be housed in a sanctioned facility, determined by the Singapore government, for the entire duration of their stay. Travelers are permitted to travel in groups of no more than 5 persons. The group will be allowed to stay together in the facility however they will not be permitted to socialize with other travelers.
Travelers will also have to ensure they remain compliant with local regulations regarding safety, such as the safe management measures and the use of Trace Together.
As mentioned above there will be various safety measures implemented to ensure the safety of both the guest as well as employees at the airport and the designated facility. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has been working closely with Connect@Changi to establish the facility for these travelers to stay at and conduct their meetings in a safe and efficient manner.
The Connect@Changi initiative is a collaboration between Temasek and The Ascott Limited, Changi Airport Group, SingEx, Sheares Healthcare Group and Surbana Jurong. This initiative aims to allow business leaders to carry out important meetings, while ensuring the safety of all guests and employees from the time of arrival to the time of departure. Construction for the facility has already begun and the project involves building more than 650 guest rooms and more than 170 meeting rooms, that can host different meeting sizes ranging from 4 to 22 people. Full construction of the venue is aimed to be completed midway through 2021, after which the facility will consist of more than 1,300 guest rooms and around 340 meeting rooms.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the collaborating parties have asserted that meticulous protocols and procedures will be put in place to ensure the safety of the travelers, meeting visitors and staff. The entrances, exits and ventilation systems between travelers and Singapore based meeting partners will be separated. Additionally, contact between staff and guests at the venue will be reduced.
Who Does It Apply to?
The first travel agreement Singapore had implemented, known as the fast lane, was with China and began in June of 2020. This fast lane created a link between China and Singapore, allowing for certain persons from 6 provinces in China to travel to Singapore.
Following the success of the travel agreement between China and Singapore, the Singaporean government had then made similar agreements with South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Japan. Unlike the fast lanes or green lanes previously established, Singapore had then unilaterally open its borders to Vietnam, Brunei, Australia and Vietnam, which also allowed persons to travel for leisure purposes. Finally, prior to the current initiative, Singapore had formed a travel bubble with Hong Kong in October, which allowed for travelers to travel with no restrictions and without having a controlled itinerary.
The Connect@Singapore initiative is for business travelers and travelers with a high economic value who wish to travel to Singapore, in order to carry out business. Applications for the initiative will open mid-January 2021 and the first groups of travelers will be able to travel during the second half of January.
The Singapore government has established the Connect@Singapore initiative in an effort to allow business people from around the world to re-connect in Singapore. Despite the varying risk profiles in each country, this initiative aims for people to carry out important business meetings amid the pandemic. This initiative shows that Singapore is solidifying itself as a global business hub, by adapting to changing times.
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