Before the pandemic, the city-state of Singapore was a hub for international business and travel. Now the government is looking to give the sector a boost with a new, get-out-of-quarantine card for senior executives who travel frequently for work. Under the pilot program, a select few business executives would be exempt from a 14-day-quarantine mandatory for all other arrivals. Instead, they would test for covid-19 and self-isolate while awaiting results.
“These travelers will have to comply with whatever travel restrictions or measures that are in place in that country that they are visiting,” Lawrence Wong, the co-head of Singapore’s virus task force, said Wednesday during a media briefing, Yahoo News reported. “So that’s the whole idea of a travel pass — to allow senior executives who are based in Singapore with extensive regional or international responsibilities to have a bit more flexibility to travel for their work.” Wong did not say how many business exemptions would be issued.
Singapore has confirmed more than 57,000 coronavirus cases, though the majority have been among foreign workers living in often crowded dormitories.
Singapore has wielded its extensive state controls to monitor and trace the spread of the coronavirus. The government had originally tried to make a contact tracing application mandatory, but the model’s far-reaching surveillance raised privacy concerns and was incompatible with Apple and Google smartphone operating systems.
Instead of changing its surveillance model, in the summer the government began handing out contact-tracing wearable devices that can be worn on lanyards.