SINGAPORE - Local and foreign delegates at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum (NEF) next month will be subject to strict measures, including being fully vaccinated to ensure their safety and well-being as well as that of the community, the authorities said on Sunday (Oct 24).
On arrival in Singapore, foreign delegates must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test and stay in their hotel rooms till the result is confirmed to be negative. They will be exempted from quarantine if their PCR test result is negative.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Economic Development Board (EDB) said all foreign delegates must undergo daily pre-event testing on conference days, on top of being fully vaccinated.
ST had seen a note from EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin to forum delegates that groups of up to five may dine together at NEF venues and other designated restaurants in the city, and that guests can include non-NEF delegates.
The agencies said that anyone not attending the NEF but who wishes to have meals or meetings in venues or restaurants designated for the NEF must undergo a mandatory pre-event test and obtain a negative result beforehand.
All forum participants, including locals, have to undergo daily pre-event testing on conference days.
"For this to be a successful event, the safety and well-being of our community and of NEF delegates, is our top priority," they said.
These measures are stricter than existing ones for larger-scale events for Singaporeans, such as those attending wedding receptions, where pre-event testing is required for all attendees unless they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 or are aged 12 and below.
"It is with these added requirements that business meals for up to five fully vaccinated persons will be allowed for Bloomberg NEF participants," said the agencies.
The NEF will be held from Nov 16 to 19 at the Capella Singapore hotel, and is expected to draw more than 300 participants from 51 countries, including current and former heads of states and global chief executive officers.
The event marks another step forward for Singapore's hospitality and travel industry amid the nation's pivot to an endemic Covid-19 scenario.
Outside of the pre-designated venues and restaurants for NEF participants, the prevailing safe management measures in Singapore will apply to the delegates, including the two-person rule for meals.
The Republic's latest pandemic restrictions state that dining-in will be limited to a maximum of two people till Nov 21, though the curbs will be reviewed before then.
The NEF is one of the events under the Mice event pilot by STB that aims to allow business conferences and exhibitions to gradually restart and support Singapore's hospitality and travel industry.
Mice stands for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. Recent events held include Gamescom Asia and the Joint Leadership Summit of the top Mice associations.
The NEF is a major global conference of political leaders organised by Bloomberg. In 2018, it was moved from Beijing to Singapore just 10 weeks before the event date in November. The forum was held at Capella hotel in Sentosa.
Under the Mice pilot, all foreign delegates, including those at the Bloomberg NEF, have to apply for a letter of entry to visit Singapore and be fully inoculated with vaccines under the World Health Organisation's emergency use listing.
They have to take the PCR swab test upon arrival and undergo daily pre-event testing on event days.
Local delegates have to undergo the daily pre-event testing, said STB and EDB.
Dr Beh's note said NEF delegates who apply for an authorised letter of entry can enter Singapore from any country regardless of travel history, and arrive on any commercial flight or private jet.
The delegates are free to attend meetings and company visits outside the NEF.
The agencies said the Bloomberg conference will reinforce Singapore's position as a business hub, and provide a platform for leading business and political leaders from over 50 countries to exchange views and discuss both challenges and opportunities.
"It is important that MICE events are able to resume progressively in a safe, trusted and innovative manner as such events will help Singapore regain our relevance as a leading business hub, and preserve local jobs and businesses," they said.
Safeguards for Bloomberg New Economy Forum
EDB and STB said that for the Bloomberg NEF to be a success, safety is the top priority. Among the safeguards that will be in place are that:
- All delegates must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine under WHO's emergency use listing.
- They must undergo a PCR swab test on arrival and stay in their hotel room until it is confirmed to be negative.
- They have to undergo daily pre-event testing on event days.
- Pre-event testing is also required for non-delegates attending meals and meetings in venues and restaurants that have been pre-designated to allow delegates to dine in groups of up to five.
Correction note: An earlier version of this story stated the venue of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum as Marina Bay Sands. It is the Capella Singapore hotel. We are sorry for the error.