Singapore is launching the Connect@Singapore initiative to facilitate essential global business exchanges, the country’s minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing announced recently.

Connect@Singapore will be open to a limited number of businesses, officials, and high economic value travellers from all countries who are visiting Singapore for short-term stays of up to 14 days. Applications for this will open in mid-January 2021 and the first set of travellers will be able to arrive from the second half of January 2021.

Strict health and safety protocols will be put in place. Business travellers who wish to partake will be “housed in a bubble within dedicated facilities for the entire duration of their stay, undergo regular testing, and strictly observe all prevailing Safe Management Measures (SMMs),” reads an official document by Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), Singapore.

Corporate guests will be able to conduct meetings with local visitors and other travel groups while in the facilities. They will have to undergo Antigen Rapid Tests (ART).

The designated facilities will have to take efforts to separate travellers from other individuals — floor-to-ceiling dividers will be installed to maintain social distance. In addition, travellers will have to stay with their predeclared travel group of up to five and will not be allowed to mingle with other travellers outside of the group.

As per the safety and hygiene guidelines, business travellers will have to present a valid negative Covid-19 report prior to their departure, obtain a PCR test on arrival in Singapore, and undergo ART on days three, five, seven and 11.

MTI is working with Connect@Changi on its possible appointment as a facility under the Connect@Singapore initiative. A collaboration between Temasek and The Ascott, Changi Airport Group, Sheares Healthcare Group, SingEx and Surbana Jurong, Connect@Changi will demonstrate a strict Covid-19 testing regime for guest travellers. Innovative solutions will be implemented to minimise contact between guests and frontline staff, such as self-service meeting rooms.

Connect@Changi will feature several Covid-19 related measures such as wastewater testing for early detection, latest rapid point-of-care tests to complement established lab-based tests, and automated contact tracing within the facility.