S’pore EXPO Facility To Fit Meeting Rooms With Glass Panels, Allows Face-To-Face Interaction With Travellers

Connect @ Changi Will Accommodate Overseas Business Travellers With Safe Distancing Measures

Considering the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging across the world, international travel has almost come to a standstill.

You might think that business travel would be consigned to the past too, but Singapore is determined to help such exchanges carry on in a safe way.

That’s why a new short-stay facility for overseas business travellers at the Singapore EXPO will allow them to meet Singapore residents face to face – albeit separated by air-tight glass panels.

Artist’s impression courtesy of Temasek Holdings.

Though we think it’s little like visiting somebody in jail, these specially designed rooms will bring back some normality to business meetings.

Connect @ Changi to be first-such facility in the world

In a news release on Tuesday (15 Dec), Temasek Holdings said it’s leading a Singapore consortium to build Connect @ Changi.

The pilot short-stay facility for business travellers will be located at the Singapore EXPO.

It’ll be the world’s first collaboration between an international airport and a purpose-built accommodation of scale that safeguards guests and the local community from Covid-19, Temasek said.

Artist’s impression of courtyard courtesy of Temasek Holdings.

The aim is for overseas business travellers landing at Changi Airport to make use of the facility to meet people based in Singapore in person, and even hold meetings.

When they’re not doing so, they’ll be enjoying a comfortable stay in four-star-equivalent accommodation, complete with safe management measures to help them feel protected.

Fully completed in mid-2021

Connect @ Changi will have more than 1,300 guest rooms and about 340 meeting rooms that can fit up to 22 people.

Artist’s impression courtesy of Temasek Holdings.

Construction is now underway for full completion in mid-2021.

In its initial phase, set to launch in the 1st quarter of 2021 at halls 7 and 8, 670 guest rooms and close to 170 meeting rooms will be available.

‘Test-stay-work-meet’ experience for travellers

Temasek has described the experience for inbound business travellers as “test-stay-work-meet”.

That means to safeguard the health of Singapore’s community, they’ll be rigorously tested for Covid-19.

Swabs will be taken before they arrive, throughout their stay at Connect @ Changi, as well as before they leave for their home countries.

Artist’s impression of hotel reception courtesy of Temasek Holdings.

Besides the now-usual Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, guests will also undergo other more rapid tests that show results earlier.

Even the wastewater of the facility will be tested, so the virus can be detected early and action can be taken to contain the spread.

SHN-like safety measures

Some other “meticulous protocols and procedures” to be implemented will remind you of what people undergo when they’re under Stay-Home Notice (SHN) in dedicated facilities.

For example, there’ll be minimal contact between guests and staff — meaning the meeting rooms will be self-service and meals will be delivered to shelves outside their guest rooms.

Guests will also be able to buy food via vending machines and delivery services.

Artist’s impression of business centre courtesy of Temasek Holdings.

Of course, contact between the business travellers and Singapore-based visitors will also be minimised.

That includes having separate entrances, exits and ventilation systems for the 2 groups of people.

Artist’s impression of business centre drop-off point courtesy of Temasek Holdings.

Basically, the only contact the travellers will have with Singapore-based colleagues, or guests from other countries, will be via the innovative meeting rooms that are fitted with glass panels.

Artist’s impression courtesy of Temasek Holdings.

Connect @ Changi will benefit Singaporeans

Connect @ Changi isn’t just a boon for high-powered businessmen, Temasek said.

The facility will also create over 800 jobs for Singapore residents in the construction, maintenance and service industries.

Local food and retail businesses can also provide e-concierge services to the guests so they can patronise Singapore’s eateries and shops from their rooms.

Connect @ Changi may also hold meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) events in a secure bubble, for example it may come useful in the upcoming World Ecomonic Forum meeting coming to our shores in May.

New segregated travel lane for business travellers

The announcement of Connect @ Changi was made in tandem with the revelation that a new segregated travel lane for short-term business travellers will be launched.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Tuesday (15 Dec) that it’ll be open to a “limited number” of travellers from all countries.

They should be arriving in Singapore for business and official purposes, or be of high economic value, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).


Applications to enter under this travel lane will open in mid-Jan, and travellers are expected to come in shortly after.

These travellers must stay in dedicated facilities the whole time, which is presumably where Connect @ Changi will come in handy.

Reopening to the world in a safe manner

It’s understandable that Singaporeans might be nervous that people from all over the world are invited here amid a pandemic.

However, as a small country dependent on our reputation as a global business and convention centre to survive, we don’t have much of a choice but to open up to revive our economy.

Facilities like Connect @ Changi will help us do so in a safe way while providing some measure of comfort to our overseas guests.

Let’s hope that through these efforts, our community will remain protected.

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Featured images courtesy of Temasek Holdings.

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