A new business travel pass being piloted in Singapore will allow senior executives with regional or international responsibilities to travel overseas regularly for official and business purposes, providing that they abide by a strict itinerary.
The latest announcement comes from the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH), who add that the number of passes will be limited in the initial phase to ensure that public health outcomes of this pilot can be monitored.
New pass will allow travellers to go wherever they need, without lengthy quarantining
Lawrence Wong, Chair of the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 in Singapore, said that the new pass would not be country-specific. “We will allow those with the travel pass to be able to travel,” he specified. “But, of course, these travellers will have to comply with whatever travel restrictions or measures are in place in the country they are visiting.” This might also include restrictions under other travel schemes, such as bilateral travel arrangements like the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) schemes, Wong added.
Currently, under the RGL that Singapore has agreed with Malaysia, Brunei and Japan, travellers must undergo pre-departure and post-arrival Covid-19 PCR tests, among other things, but these new passes will override these requirements.
Upon the traveller’s return, the individual will simply be given the option of taking a Covid-19 test. Rather than having to stay at home and quarantine, the traveller will just need to self-isolate until their results come in – a move that will greatly increase the incentive to travel for business.
Is business travel the key to reviving international tourism?
The MOH detailed that should the pilot prove to be a success, with public health measures fully abided by, it will consider expanding the scheme ‘in a safe and calibrated manner’.
This latest development follows the news that Singapore and Japan had struck up a business travel agreement. Business travel has often been touted as the first step to reviving international travel, and this new scheme certainly seems to be supporting that train of thought.