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Connect@Changi facility a potential super spreader event?

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Short-term business travellers from all countries will now be able to stay and have in-person meetings at a dedicated facility at the Singapore Expo without the need for prior quarantine.

The first phase of Connect @ Changi was launched on Thursday (Feb 18) with 150 guest rooms, in a move to resume international business meetings in Singapore amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The facility, which has been billed as the first of its kind in the world, has 40 meeting rooms of different sizes - the smallest can take four people and the largest, 22.

When fully operational later this year, it will be able to host up to 1,300 business travellers at any one time.

The facility's opening marks the start of the Connect @ Singapore scheme that will open Singapore's borders to business, official and high economic value travellers.

Under the scheme, travellers can meet in Singapore at designated facilities, but have to remain within the facilities throughout their stay. They also have to regularly take Covid-19 tests in lieu of quarantine.

Room rates for the four-star Connect @ Changi facility start at $384, which is inclusive of three meals, mini-bar, toiletries, Wi-Fi, two-way airport transfer as well as the Covid-19 tests required during the course of the stay.

Those who opt to stay there will be transported from the airport to the Singapore Expo directly after they take a Covid-19 test at the airport.

They will have to stay in the room while waiting for their initial test result, which will take about six hours to process.

Those who test negative can then have meetings through floor-to-ceiling air-tight glass panels with local businessmen and businessmen from other countries, with safe distancing measures in place.

The areas that local residents and business travellers can access are physically separated, and have different ventilation systems.

During the travellers' stay, meals and requested amenities will be placed on shelves outside their rooms to reduce physical interaction between them and the staff.

As a safety precaution, cleaners will not enter rooms that travellers are staying in. When the traveller checks out, the cleaner will clean the room while donning full personal protective equipment.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who launched Connect @ Changi on Thursday, noted that while many businesses have shifted to virtual meetings amid the pandemic, these cannot fully replace face-to-face interactions.

"For some, physical meetings are still important for securing and closing business deals, and making important decisions," he said.

"Face-to-face interactions are important for growing relationships, strengthening partnerships, and exploring new business opportunities."

Singapore was a popular destination for business meetings prior to Covid-19, and companies are turning to the Republic to safely resume such meetings, he added.

Connect @ Singapore scheme was started to meet these business needs, he said.

"As the pandemic evolves, we must make the best use of technology and innovate. We must take this chance to reinvent ourselves and reimagine the future, for there is no going back to before," said Mr Heng, pointing to the Expo facility as a good example of how to do so.

The project is developed by a Singapore consortium led by Temasek, and includes The Ascott Limited, Changi Airport Group, Sheares Healthcare Group, SingEx-Sphere Holdings and Surbana Jurong.

Temasek International joint head of strategic development Alan Thompson said the consortium is confident that there will be demand for Connect @ Changi, based on the number of inquiries it has received so far and its analysis of pre-Covid-19 business travel data.

The consortium is in discussions with several parties, he added.

It expects to receive its first guests in March.

One confirmed client is Advanced MedTech Holdings, a global medical technology firm focusing on urology devices and service.

The Singapore-headquartered firm plans to hold its first in-person global senior leadership meeting at the facility - its first since the pandemic began early last year.

Advanced MedTech senior director of business development Lee Weikang said in-person meetings allow the staff to better connect with one another.

"The smiles on each other's faces, the passion in our demeanours, the steely determination etched in our eyes, even the energy emanating from our physical presence - all these are hard to experience over virtual meetings," he said.

"We are looking forward to our physical meetings at Connect @ Changi."

Rooms are now open for bookings at this website, or through the Connect @ Changi mobile app.

 

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Supercharged

There are many in this forum who probably are financially unaffected by COVID and thus advocate full closure of borders and scorn & spat at any effort on G part to restore business travel and events.

One must remember, we need foreign currency to pay for our daily millions of imports of necessities and food supplies and even energy sources such as NG and oil. If we just become an closed island to play monopoly money with each other, we will run out of it, as we are not an export oriented economy. Big factor our island got rich in last decades by attracting overseas people to come and park and spend their money here.

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Twincharged (edited)

Expo there got place to stay? 

Only Capri by Fraser right? 

 

Oh.... Just saw the video

Converted 2 halls in Expo for accommodation. 

Edited by Atonchia

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Supercharged

Those in business know some deals are not sign during meeting..

Some business is signed after a night out at Tian Nan Men.. Lido.. etc.. 

So I dunno how the take up rate will be without those arrangement.. 

 

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Supersonic

Shall we rename this CovidConnect, or DifferentStrainsCovidConnect, or HospitalConnect?

Hope taxpayers need not pay for their hospitalisation and treatment.

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Twincharged
46 minutes ago, Ody_2004 said:

Those in business know some deals are not sign during meeting..

Some business is signed after a night out at Tian Nan Men.. Lido.. etc.. 

So I dunno how the take up rate will be without those arrangement.. 

 

Lido and tian an meng still around?🤔

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Twincharged (edited)
8 hours ago, Atonchia said:

Expo there got place to stay? 

Only Capri by Fraser right? 

 

Oh.... Just saw the video

Converted 2 halls in Expo for accommodation. 

The former furniture / IT show?

It used to house dorm fw during peak of covid.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kopites

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10 hours ago, t0y0ta said:

There are many in this forum who probably are financially unaffected by COVID and thus advocate full closure of borders and scorn & spat at any effort on G part to restore business travel and events.

One must remember, we need foreign currency to pay for our daily millions of imports of necessities and food supplies and even energy sources such as NG and oil. If we just become an closed island to play monopoly money with each other, we will run out of it, as we are not an export oriented economy. Big factor our island got rich in last decades by attracting overseas people to come and park and spend their money here.

Ok fine.  If you kena Covid-19 from them , would you still say the same thing?

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Turbocharged

Can't help thinking the poor receptionist (see the first video clip) at the counter will be the "tip of the spear" every single day.

Exposed to international arrivals who have not quarantined.

Better wear a full PPE suit, rather than just a mask and face shield. And ask for more pay!

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Turbocharged
3 hours ago, Ody_2004 said:

Those in business know some deals are not sign during meeting..

Some business is signed after a night out at Tian Nan Men.. Lido.. etc.. 

So I dunno how the take up rate will be without those arrangement.. 

 

Not enough to open just the Connect. No point without opening up the "entertainment" sector [laugh]

 

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Twincharged
3 hours ago, Kopites said:

The former furniture / IT show?

It used to house dorm fw during peak of covid.

 

 

 

 

Initially, I thought those vistors were going to stay in hotel/service apartment nearby and commute to Expo. 

After watching the video, it shown the accommodation was converted within 2 of the 10 halls. So these visitors will not leave the enclosed area. 

The risk of transmission will be the front line workers though the organiser have implement procedures to lower the risk....it still higher risk compare deskbound people. 

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Supercharged
10 minutes ago, Sosaria said:

Not enough to open just the Connect. No point without opening up the "entertainment" sector [laugh]

 

Without such entertainment who will wanna go for biz trip wor..

Long time ago biz trip is always part biz part leisure.. at least for me. Where got come meeting face to face then go back room face 4 walls and ceiling neh?

i go beijing see Great Wall, go Taiwan see Taipei 101, go US see Niagara Fall, go Munich go Deutsches Museum and of cos those cannot declare places lah! Whahahahahahaha..

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Supersonic

Who else can turn the pandemic into a business opportunity?

World's first.

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Twincharged
20 minutes ago, Sosaria said:

Can't help thinking the poor receptionist (see the first video clip) at the counter will be the "tip of the spear" every single day.

Exposed to international arrivals who have not quarantined.

Better wear a full PPE suit, rather than just a mask and face shield. And ask for more pay!

"We will ensure you get priority for the vaccination." 😷

 

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Twincharged
6 minutes ago, Ody_2004 said:

Without such entertainment who will wanna go for biz trip wor..

Long time ago biz trip is always part biz part leisure.. at least for me. Where got come meeting face to face then go back room face 4 walls and ceiling neh?

i go beijing see Great Wall, go Taiwan see Taipei 101, go US see Niagara Fall, go Munich go Deutsches Museum and of cos those cannot declare places lah! Whahahahahahaha..

You meant you walk until "Holland" 😂😂

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Supersonic
4 hours ago, Ody_2004 said:

Those in business know some deals are not sign during meeting..

Some business is signed after a night out at Tian Nan Men.. Lido.. etc.. 

So I dunno how the take up rate will be without those arrangement.. 

 

thats why alot  of company allow sales man to claim huge amount of allowance for trip to ktv etc etc ma🤣

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6 hours ago, Kopites said:

Lido and tian an meng still around?🤔

*cough* parklane *cough* dynasty *cough*

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Twincharged
3 hours ago, Lurpsexx said:

*cough* parklane *cough* dynasty *cough*

Never heard of such places.

Lido I know. At shaw orchard.

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