Singapore's Changi Airport opens bubble for business travellers amid Covid-19(Photo by Yu Kato on Unsplash)
Singapore's Changi Airport opens bubble for business travellers amid Covid-19(Photo by Yu Kato on Unsplash)

Singapore's Changi Airport opens bubble for business travellers amid Covid-19

Visitors to Singapore will undergo Covid-19 testing upon arrival at Changi Airport and will be able to conduct meetings with local guests and other segregated travel lane groups at the facility behind floor-to-ceiling dividers.
Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2021 08:10 PM IST

Singapore has started taking applications for a program that will allow people to enter the island for business and official purposes without having to quarantine for 14 days. The catch? They’ll have to stay in a bubble-like facility near Changi Airport, and can’t leave.

The first visitors under the so-called Connect@Changi program are expected to arrive next month, Alan Thompson, joint head of strategic development at Temasek International, said Thursday. Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state investment firm, is supporting the initiative.

“The economy was hurting, the aviation industry was hurting, the food and beverage and hospitality industry was hurting -- we needed something to kickstart the economy,” Thompson said. The purpose-built facility will “allow business meetings to happen that will then enable travel to happen and gradually we will be able to get business as close to normal” under these kind of circumstances.

Singapore’s small and open economy is largely dependent upon the tourism and service sectors for growth. To that end, it’s been trying to reopen its borders by establishing green lanes and special travel arrangements with countries where the virus is also contained, like New Zealand and Vietnam. But second and third waves in various places combined with the protracted vaccine rollouts mean widespread travel is still likely months away.

Regardless, authorities are keen to position Singapore, which has done a good job of containing Covid, as a prime spot for meetings, events, conferences and exhibitions. Connect@Changi will be among options available when Singapore hosts the World Economic Forum later this year, Thompson said.

The facility will initially have 150 guestrooms and 40 meeting rooms, rising to 660 and 170, respectively, when the first phase is completed in May. One of the companies that plans to use Connect@Changi is Advanced MedTech Holdings Pte, Thompson said. When fully operational, it will have capacity to host around 1,300 business travellers.

Visitors will undergo testing upon arrival and throughout their stays and must observe all safety measures. They will be able to conduct meetings with local guests and other segregated travel lane groups at the facility. Meetings with locals will need to conducted behind floor-to-ceiling dividers.

The arrangement is primarily aimed at official and multinational business meetings, as well as medical consultations, private banking transactions and document signings or legal consultations. Its target audience is mainly short-term visitors who don’t intend to stay longer than a few days.

Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
The coronavirus pandemic has sent shock waves through the global travel industry and the economies most reliant on tourism.(Pixabay)
The coronavirus pandemic has sent shock waves through the global travel industry and the economies most reliant on tourism.(Pixabay)

How and where to travel safely this summer: Covid-19 Q&A

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:44 PM IST
With vaccines rolling out, governments are looking to strike a balance between the continuing fight against Covid-19 and allowing travel to resume.
Close
Representational image. (AFP)
Representational image. (AFP)

Vaccination impact: 65% survey respondents say will travel in next 2 months

By Neha LM Tripathi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 12:33 PM IST
Over 70% of those surveyed have travelled at least once since the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were eased. Nearly 40% of them went for one or two mini-vacations, and 18% for three trips during the pandemic
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Air travel quarantines are getting longer and lonelier

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 07:35 PM IST
Quarantines continue to frustrate travelers and strangle airlines a year into the pandemic, with the threat from highly infectious coronavirus variants meaning enforced isolations are mostly getting longer and stricter rather than easing up.
Close
Covid-19: Heathrow touts Britain to lead revival of mass international travel(Photo by Tomek Baginski on Unsplash)
Covid-19: Heathrow touts Britain to lead revival of mass international travel(Photo by Tomek Baginski on Unsplash)

Covid-19: Heathrow touts Britain to lead revival of mass international travel

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 05:30 PM IST
'We will work with the global travel task-force so that Britain can become the first country in the world to safely restart international travel and trade at scale': London Heathrow airport's Chief Executive Officer John Holland-Kaye
Close
Unilateral moves by EU member countries to combat the spread of new coronavirus variants has disrupted the flow of goods within the bloc's 27-nation single market and risks shutting parts of the Franco-German border.(Pixabay)
Unilateral moves by EU member countries to combat the spread of new coronavirus variants has disrupted the flow of goods within the bloc's 27-nation single market and risks shutting parts of the Franco-German border.(Pixabay)

EU to keep Covid-19 curbs on non-essential travel amid chaotic border measures

Reuters, Brussels/berlin
PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 12:34 PM IST
European Union government leaders will agree on Thursday to maintain curbs on non-essential travel within the EU despite the bloc's executive asking six countries to ease border restrictions on Tuesday.
Close
File photo of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. (Abhijit Bhatlekar/ Mint)
File photo of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. (Abhijit Bhatlekar/ Mint)

Covid-19 effect: Passenger traffic at Mumbai airport dipped by 73% last year

By Neha LM Tripathi
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 10:25 AM IST
In the pre-Covid days, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Iinternational Airport got an average of 42,000 international passengers per day but this number fell to 18,000 by mid-March last year. Domestic traffic too dropped by 15-20%.
Close
Covid-19 variants dampen hope of travel rebound, quarantines get longer-lonelier(Photo by Ellen Jenni on Unsplash)
Covid-19 variants dampen hope of travel rebound, quarantines get longer-lonelier(Photo by Ellen Jenni on Unsplash)

Covid-19 variants dampen hope of travel rebound, quarantines get longer-lonelier

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 07:47 AM IST
While the efficacy of vaccines on mutated Covid-19 strains are under debate, the tightening of quarantine models to contain the threat from highly infectious coronavirus variants is damping hopes of a swift rebound in international air travel.
Close
Johnson told parliament that meant there was still time for Britons to plan summer holidays.(Pixabay)
Johnson told parliament that meant there was still time for Britons to plan summer holidays.(Pixabay)

UK PM says foreign travel curbs to stay until at least mid-May

Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 09:36 AM IST
The ban on non-essential international travel to and from England will stay until at least May 17, prolonging the pain for airlines, airports and holiday companies hit by the pandemic travel slump.
Close
Italy extends non-essential travel ban till March 27 as Covid-19 variant spreads(Photo by Dan Novac on Unsplash)
Italy extends non-essential travel ban till March 27 as Covid-19 variant spreads(Photo by Dan Novac on Unsplash)

Italy extends non-essential travel ban till March 27 as Covid-19 variant spreads

ANI
UPDATED ON FEB 23, 2021 07:40 AM IST
Italy's regional travel ban does not apply to travel for work, health or emergency reasons or to anyone who needs to travel to return home. However, travel within Italy for tourism remains prohibited till March 27 due to the spread of the Covid-19 variant.
Close
Covid-19: Non-essential international travel banned to and from UK till May 17(Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash)
Covid-19: Non-essential international travel banned to and from UK till May 17(Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash)

Covid-19: Non-essential international travel banned to and from UK till May 17

ANI
UPDATED ON FEB 23, 2021 07:25 AM IST
As the new Covid-19 strain spreads in United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a ban on non-essential international travel from and to the country till at least May 17, domestic overnight stays and self-contained accommodation will be allowed no earlier than 12 April
Close
 (Pics: Shutterstock)
(Pics: Shutterstock)

Committing to wellness

By Swati Chaturvedi
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 09:39 PM IST
In this new era of health consciousness, individuals are willing to spend on living a full life and are constantly looking for destinations to make memories for a lifetime. A yearning for cultural vibrancy and authentic experiences force these travellers to indulge  in holistic programs like spa getaways, detoxing cleansing with food, which in turn fosters an emotional and a life-changing wellness journey for eternity.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Travel industry sees glimmers of recovery in Africa, Antarctica post Covid-19

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 06:11 PM IST
After a year of pandemic, travelers are looking for open spaces, safety, and sunshine—and are ready to put down serious cash to get it.
Close
Vaccination passport: Air New Zealand to trial digital travel pass amid Covid-19(Photo by Sébastien Goldberg on Unsplash)
Vaccination passport: Air New Zealand to trial digital travel pass amid Covid-19(Photo by Sébastien Goldberg on Unsplash)

Vaccination passport: Air New Zealand to trial digital travel pass amid Covid-19

AFP
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 05:16 PM IST
  • For restarting international travel as global vaccine rollouts get underway, Air New Zealand to trial digital Covid 'vaccination passport'
Close
Thailand extends emergency to contain Covid-19, bars and nightclubs to reopen(Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash)
Thailand extends emergency to contain Covid-19, bars and nightclubs to reopen(Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash)

Thailand extends emergency to contain Covid-19, bars and nightclubs to reopen

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 04:40 PM IST
While Thailand approves a proposal for the 10th extension of the nationwide state of emergency to contain the Covid-19 outbreak ahead of coronavirus vaccination drive, bars and nightclubs can now reopen and serve liquor to patrons until 11 pm
Close
Osian, Jodhpur
Osian, Jodhpur

Dive in the dunes

By Prerna Gauba
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 04:30 PM IST
From labyrinthine bazaars to royal forts and blue houses, Jodhpur will enamour you with its regal charm and historic tales.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP