Singaporeans are weirdly proud about so many things, and at the top of the list is the Changi Airport Singapore. Most of us grew up with fond or bittersweet memories of the airport – whether it's mugging till 3 am at Starbucks or sending off our beloved friends for their exchange programmes.
Following a three-month closure due to increased imported Covid-19 cases, Terminals 1 and 3 of Changi Airport will reopen to the public from September 1 – albeit, with certain restrictions. The two terminals were closed along with Jewel Changi Airport in May after a Covid-19 cluster was detected in T3. Jewel Changi Airport reopened on June 14, about a month after its closure, but T1 and T3 remained closed to the public to prepare workers for the new safety procedures.
For example, there'll be restricted use of arrival halls to complement the zonal segregation in the transit areas that have already been implemented at the airport. Additionally, only professional meet-and-greet services – such as those from hotels, transport services and company agents – will be allowed to receive arriving passengers from low-risk countries in the halls. Only one representative is allowed to pick up each arriving passenger group, and these representatives will have to present the passenger’s flight itinerary to gain entry into the hall.
In a statement on Friday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG), enhancements to air quality and safety at the airport has also been made in the light of the threat from more transmissible Covid-19 variants. The airport has now been installed with hospital-grade filters and UV-C sanitisation systems are now installed in the air-conditioning systems.
The other two Terminals, 2 and 4, remain closed with no immediate plans to reopen either terminal. Both have been closed since May last year amid a drastic fall in passenger numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are no immediate plans to reopen either terminal.
While the situation is still not how it is pre-pandemic, openings in Singapore are a good sign of what's to come.