Jewel Changi Airport, which has been closed to the public since May 13, will now reopen on June 14, according to a joint press release by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG).
Last month, Changi Airport became Singapore's largest active Covid-19 cluster, with over 100 cases.
Since then, a deep cleaning and disinfection of Changi Airport's Passenger Terminal Buildings (PTBs) and Jewel have been completed, although the PTBs will remain closed to the public, in order to allow the airport community to adapt to new zoning measures.
Also, while Jewel may be open from June 14, dining in at food and beverage outlets is forbidden until at least June 21, depending on the Covid-19 situation.
During the Multi-ministry task force press conference on June 10, it was noted that the extra time is needed to ensure that the situation is stable before dining in can resume.
Non-invasive breathalyser for Covid-19 testing
Previously, on May 24, CAG announced that they will implement a new enhanced segregated zoning system within the airport, in order to guard against the spread of Covid-19.
These measures have now been implemented, and airport workers have been briefed and trained on the new measures and requirements.
In addition, it was announced earlier that airport workers in higher risk roles must take an additional Antigen Rapid Test (ART) between their seven-day Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based Rostered Routine Tests (RRTs).
CAAS and CAG have since begun a small-scale pilot with the use of a non-invasive breathalyser, called the TracieX, which will allow the workers to experience less discomfort, and receive faster results.
"Instead of undergoing an ART, workers in the pilot will blow into a disposable breathalyser fitted with a proprietary sensor chip.
The breathalyser will then be inserted into a portable reading device for vibrational spectroscopy analysis, which will be able to tell if a person is infected with Covid-19 within two minutes."
CAAS and CAG said that they aim to progressively replace the ART for more airport workers with the TracieX breathalyser in the coming months, which will allow them to step up the frequency of testing.
S$15 million set aside to help airport workers
In light of the new enhanced measures, CAAG and CAS will set aside S$15 million to help address the needs and concerns of airport workers, and help them adapt to the enhanced measures.
For example, airport workers who are at higher risk are now required to remain in their work zone throughout their shift, including during their meal and rest times.
They are also required to be in higher levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) protection throughout the duration of their shift, except during their meal and rest times.
The S$15 million will be used by the airport community to provide a special allowance for six months, cater meals for these workers during their shift for the same period, and to help defray the cost of PPE.
About 5,000 aviation workers are expected to benefit from this support.
Top image via Unsplash.