- Singapore just opened the world’s first bubble facility for business travelers.
- Travelers can bypass a 14-day quarantine by staying in the bubble facility, but they can’t leave it.
- The facility has 150 guest rooms, gym pods, and 40 meeting rooms with air-tight glass panels and separate ventilation systems.
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As the world rolls out COVID-19 vaccines and international travel remains largely grounded, Singapore has opened up what it says is the world’s first bubble facility for non-quarantining business travelers.
The facility, called Connect@Changi, will allow business travelers to bypass the city-state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine — as long as they don’t leave the facility. Inside, guests will stay in hotel-like rooms, have meals delivered to a cubbyhole outside their door, and conduct in-person business meetings with Singaporeans and professionals from around the world in rooms with air-tight glass panels and separate ventilation systems.
“Without such a facility, travel options are essentially binary – either stay at home due to travel restrictions, or fly overseas and endure long periods in quarantine,” Robin Hu, head of international policy at Temasek and chairman of SingEx-Sphere Holdings, two of the project’s developers, said in a press release. The facility offers business travelers the option of resuming in-person meetings in a “safe and contained manner” while also boosting Singapore’s economic recovery, he said.
The 780,000-square-foot facility opened this week with 150 guest rooms and 40 meeting rooms, but it plans to be able to host 1,300 travelers by the end of the year. Room rates start at 384 Singapore dollars, or about $287, which is based on a minimum 24-hour stay and includes meals and COVID-19 tests.
Earlier this week, I got a sneak peek of Connect@Changi just before the first guests arrived. Here’s what travelers can expect from the world’s first business travel bubble facility.