Bloomberg forum in Nov: Delegates can dine in groups of 5 at certain venues in Singapore

·Editorial Team
·3 min read
(PHOTO: Capella Singapore)
(PHOTO: Capella Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Local and foreign delegates at next month's Bloomberg New Economy Forum (NEF) may dine together in groups of up to five at NEF venues and other designated restaurants, said The Straits Times (ST) on Sunday (24 October).

They may also dine with non-NEF delegates at these venues, provided the latter undergo a pre-event COVID-19 test and test negative.

Outside of the pre-designated NEF venues, prevailing COVID-19 restrictions will apply to the delegates, including the two-person rule for dining in that has been imposed till 21 November as part of Singapore's Stabilisation Phase. The curbs are expected to be reviewed before then.

The NEF will take place from 16 to 19 November at Capella Singapore. It is expected to draw more than 300 participants, including current and former heads of state and global chief executive officers.

In a note from EDB chairman Beh Swan Gin to forum delegates seen by ST, Dr Beh said that NEF delegates who apply for an authorised letter of entry can enter the city-state from any country regardless of travel history, and arrive on any commercial flight or private jet.

They are also free to attend meetings and company visits outside the NEF.

Stricter measures for NEF delegates

According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Economic Development Board (EDB), foreign delegates arriving for the forum will be subject to strict measures. They must be fully vaccinated and upon arrival, take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and stay in their hotel rooms till a negative result is confirmed. If so, they will be exempted from quarantine.

In addition, all foreign delegates must undergo daily pre-event testing (PET) on conference days.

The agencies said these measures are stricter than existing ones for larger-scale events for Singaporeans. For example, at wedding receptions, PET is required for all attendees unless they are fully vaccinated, have recovered from COVID-19 or are aged 12 and below.

The Bloomberg conference is part of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) event pilot by STB, which aims to allow business conferences and exhibitions to gradually restart and support the city-state's hospitality and travel industry.

STB and EDB stressed that the conference will reinforce Singapore's position as a business hub. "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."

On Sunday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 3,383 new COVID-19 cases in Singapore – bringing the country's total case count to 172,644 – as well as another 15 deaths due to the disease.

The day before, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the COVID-19 multi-ministry taskforce, had said that dining in is "high risk". However, he added that several of the current stabilisation measures could be eased once the weekly infection growth rate – the ratio of community cases in the past week over the week before – goes below 1.

These measures may include allowing up to five members from the same households to dine together at food-and-beverage establishments.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, acknowledging criticism of the "inconsistencies" in COVID restrictions, said, "But if we are prepared to live with some inconsistencies, then we have a basis to move forward. Some can move forward first, while some will have to wait for their turn, but eventually everyone will get there. We can then tackle the real challenge: how can we progressively reopen while keeping severe disease incidence rate and death rates as low as possible?"

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