The island state’s minister for health Gan Kim Yong announced the plan, which will see event participants tested either at directly the event venue or at a separate testing facility. Only those who have tested negative will be allowed to attend the event.
The health ministry said it would work with event organisers to keep the pre-testing process discreet, possibly carrying it out in a function room on the side of a wedding or business event.
The test is valid for 24 hours, so multi testing would be required for multi-day attendance.
Pre-event antigen rapid tests (ARTS) are expected to be piloted at Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW), 26-30 October.
Such tests can return “fairly accurate” results within about half an hour, according to the health ministry. The tests are also more comfortable to endure, compared to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, as a nasal swab takes a sample from the lower part of the nose.
Ms Carrie Kwik, Executive Director Europe, Singapore Tourism Board tells CMW: “SIEW is one of the selected events to pilot pre-event antigen testing. Such pilots will enable the government to trial pre-event testing processes to identify different models that can be implemented more widely, hence eventually allowing more large-scale MICE events to resume safely and sustainably.
“Pilot events like SIEW will also allow STB to study the findings and data to refine the safe management measures and best practices for MICE events progressively.”