Singapore plans to open a dedicated travel lane and bubble facility next month to enable face-to-face business meetings for visitors from all countries.
Beginning in January, business travellers from all countries will be able to visit Singapore for up to 14 days to conduct in-person meetings. Under the [email protected] initiative, travellers to the Lion City must apply in advance, remain in a designated bubble facility, and undergo regular testing throughout their stay.
A dedicated bubble facility near Changi Airport, [email protected], will house travellers under the scheme and offer a “test-stay-work-meet experience”, according to consortium lead Temasek Holdings.
The venue will initially include more than 670 guest rooms. In addition, 170 conference rooms equipped with Covid-safe features, such as floor-to-ceiling glass partitions (pictured, above), will help facilitate gatherings between travellers and local counterparts. Upon full completion in mid-2021, [email protected] will have over 1,300 guest rooms and 340 meeting rooms.
Applications for [email protected] open in mid-January, with the first travellers expected to arrive shortly after. The initiative complements Singapore’s existing country agreements, including the Reciprocal Green Lane.
Singapore Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing said the scheme is part of the city state’s efforts to reopen borders in a safe and controlled manner. He expects [email protected] to help restore Singapore’s status as a global business hub.
“Although there has been positive news on the vaccine development front, we do not expect the current situation to blow over quickly,” said Chan in a social media post. “[email protected] is an important initiative which will allow us to strengthen our position as the location of choice for businesses to exchange ideas and deepen engagement. This is a crucial competitive advantage that will boost our global reputation and support our eventual recovery.”
The announcement follows reports last week that the World Economic Forum, typically hosted in Davos, Switzerland, will relocate to Singapore in May 2021 due to Covid-19 considerations.