Singapore working from home: Professionals in Singapore want to stay working from home, but only with the right tools

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Professionals in Singapore want to stay working from home, but only with the right tools

With offices shut amid lockdowns and circuit breakers, many of Singapore‘s business professionals became used to working from home. According to a survey by Lark and Milieu, that arrangement is set to last much longer than the pandemic period.

With the country in Phase 3 of its pandemic response and previous restrictions relaxed, Singaporean employers are keen to offer flexible work arrangements for the long-term and ensure that the right collaboration tool is in place to foster a positive work environment.

“Singapore organizations are faced with a growing interest in flexible work arrangements and must find ways to adapt and integrate these practices into work routines, or they will see a decrease in employee satisfaction,“ said Joey Lim, the vice-president of commercial for Asia at Lark.

“It is understandable that one major concern about this type of arrangement is the impact on team collaboration. With a dispersed workforce, and the option to work remotely, more employees are relying on collaboration tools to communicate, connect, and at the end of the day, get the job done.“

What does the survey say?

  • 94% of PMEs want flexible work arrangements to stay, which means organizations need to ensure that flexible work is the default work set-up and should ensure employees are supported.

  • However, only one-in-five professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) are ‘very satisfied‘ with their current remote and online collaboration work setup. Half are ‘somewhat satisfied‘ while the rest are neutral (22%) or ‘dissatisfied‘ (11%).

  • The disparity suggests a mismatch in satisfaction levels between those in senior and junior roles. Company decision makers (director level and above) skewed higher (40%) v the total respondents (25%) when stating that their team ‘is very well adapted‘ to using collaboration tools.

  • The rise of remote collaboration means Singapore PMEs use these features for up to half of their day: video meetings (94%), file search (90%) and messaging (80%). One-in-five PMEs noted that messaging takes up more than 50% of their workday.

  • Seven in 10 PMEs agreed that having one tool to support all their needs is essential in making work more enjoyable, highlighting the need for organizations to look at collaboration tools beyond just the purpose of work productivity.

  • 64% stated they felt the right collaboration tool makes their work easier, followed by 60% who stated it makes them more productive. 39% stated having the right tools can make work more enjoyable – a sentiment shared across all age groups but most strongly felt among the millennial generation (25-39 years old).

Commentary: Please don’t end work from home. It’s not that bad

BRISBANE: As COVID-19 lockdown eases across the world, many employees are returning to the office, some eagerly, others less so.

In Australia where I live, a recent Qualtrics Return to Work & Back to Business study revealed that while a majority (60 per cent) of Australians surveyed expected to return to the workplace, more than half (52 per cent) felt uncomfortable about returning to their offices.  

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In Singapore, the same survey of over 500 Singaporeans showed a similar trend where 59 per cent of those surveyed were not comfortable returning to their offices.

For all the talk about the challenges of remote working, it seems odd there is now a sense of reluctance to head back to our workplaces.

LISTEN: Unfair firing and hiring practices under scrutiny during Singapore’s worst recession

READ: Commentary: Do you really want to work from home forever like some Twitter employees can?

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In fact, many surveys conducted just three to six months into the pandemic show that most workers now want remote working to be a regular feature of their lives going forward.

Have the “woes” of remote working miraculously vanished?

BENEFITS OF REMOTE WORKING ARE BEGINNING TO MATERIALISE

As the pandemic unfolded, there was a sudden, mass adoption of remote working across organisations and industries around the world.

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What was initially viewed as a shock or back-up solution soon became a golden opportunity for employers and employees to transcend boundaries and experiment with new ways of working.

COVID-19 has forced many companies to adopt flexible and remote working arrangements. (Photo: Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez)

Although employees, especially those with young children, continue to struggle with remote working, their prospects look brighter as schools and childcare centres reopen.

In fact, many workers have gotten into the rhythm of working from home, reporting increased productivity, more quality time with loved ones, and reduced commute stress.

According to a study by Microsoft, employees have also crafted and adapted to new daily routines, such as attending to familial responsibilities when they need to, signing into work earlier, or signing off later.

Remote working will continue to have sceptics and is certainly not suitable for everyone, but it’s foolish to put an end to it just as both organisations and employees are beginning to reap its benefits.

READ: Commentary: The biggest work-from-home exercise may have just begun. How ready is Singapore?

READ: Commentary: Annual performance reviews – an archaic HR practice we must disrupt

REMOTE WORKING PRESENTS NEW OPPORTUNITIES

With sufficient passage of time to make critical adjustments, employers and employees have made huge strides and undertaken big steps in adapting to the realities of work-from-home, making such arrangements now more efficient than ever.

Employees have upgraded their home computers, enhanced their broadband connection, and built dedicated workspaces equipped with noise-cancelling headphones, standing desks and ergonomic chairs at home.

Although we hear stories complaining of endless Zoom meetings, workers are now more likely to keep meetings short and efficient, based on Microsoft’s analysis of their Modern Workplace Transformation team’s collaboration patterns during the COVID-19 lockdown in the US.

Organisations are also stepping up their cybersecurity and privacy technology to protect their data infrastructure, investing more in digital transformation, and improving their business operations, according to a recent PwC survey.

Open office workspace is seen in an empty office of an airline service company Bluelink International, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Prague, Czech Republic, May 4, 2020. Picture taken May 4, 2020. REUTERS/David W Cerny

COVID-19 has sped up digital transformation for Australian businesses by around six years, as the sudden shift to work-from-home swiftly eroded barriers such as the lack of a clear strategy, layers of decision-making, and reluctance to replace legacy software, according to research by cloud communications firm Twilio.

These combined changes have enhanced organisational resiliency in a short span of time.

A BLENDED WORKFORCE IS THE FUTURE OF WORK

With tech companies Twitter, Facebook, Shopify and Atlassian all announcing that employees can choose to work wherever they want after the pandemic, we should expect a growing number of employees who will demand more control over work arrangements.

Forward-thinking organisations should take this opportunity to experiment with a blended model of remote and in-person office work, keeping their workforce nimble while at the same time preparing for subsequent waves of COVID-19 that could emerge.

Most importantly, a blended workforce addresses most of the workplace issues that have plagued companies in the past two decades concerning work-life balance and talent acquisition.

READ: Commentary: I’ve been career oriented my whole life, until the COVID-19 pandemic took my ambition

READ: Commentary: Burned out while working from home? You should check your work-life boundaries

The COVID-19 lockdown has shown that most job tasks can be completed remotely, hence employers are no longer restricted to hiring in locations where they have offices. This in turn brings in more diversity and innovation to organisations.

Employee stress and distraction caused by commuting, presenteeism, open-plan offices and office politics have mostly been reduced as employees now get to choose when, where and how they work.

This autonomy enables them to carve out personal time and space to engage in creative and productive work, or reach out to co-workers or friends as and when they want to bounce ideas and gather feedback.

A laptop seen as a man works from home. (Photo: Unsplash/Christopher Gower)

Nevertheless, any employer that adopts this blended approach will need to ensure clear communication so that employees are aware of their responsibilities and understand the expected role they must play in the wider organisation.

It is not that remote working issues have entirely disappeared. Rather, most employees have managed to overcome some of the earlier social and technological challenges posed by COVID-19 remote working.

Over time, with further development and mastery of the job crafting skills acquired in this COVID-19 lockdown, the new normal of a blended work environment is probably a good arrangement organisations should retain.

LISTEN: The COVID-19 vaccine will be the biggest product launch in history. Can we pull it off?

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

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Carys Chan is a Lecturer in Organisational Psychology at Griffith University’s School of Applied Psychology and a research member at the Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing.

Take Care of your workers

1. Are companies that have resumed operations required to ensure that their employees work from home?

From 5 April 2021, more employees may return to the workplace to better support in-person collaboration and business operations. Employers must ensure that no more than 75% of employees who are able to work from home are at the workplace at any point in time. Nonetheless, employers are encouraged to support as many employees in working from home as possible.

This is to limit employees’ exposure at the workplace. Return to the workplace can either be initiated by the employee and agreed upon with the employer, or directed by the employer. This will help to limit the number of workers exposed at the workplace at any point in time, and reduce crowding in common areas e.g. pantries, toilets, lifts.

Work-from-home measures should be implemented in a sustainable manner that enables employees to maintain work-life harmony while continuing to meet business needs. The tripartite advisory on mental well-being at workplaces sets out practical guidance on measures that employers can adopt to support their employees’ mental well-being.

Enforcement checks will be conducted and actions will be taken against businesses for non-compliance.

2. Is there a minimum percentage or number of workers that employers must place on work-from-home arrangements?

From 5 April 2021, employers must ensure that no more than 75% of employees who are able to work from home are at the workplace at any point in time.

However, there is no limit on the proportion of an individual employee’s working time that can be spent at the workplace. Employers are nonetheless encouraged to continue to allow employees to work from home where possible. This will help to limit the number of employees exposed at the workplace at any point in time, and reduce crowding in common areas, e.g. pantries, toilets, lifts.

3. Should my employees wear masks at all times? What should I do if my employee has a medical condition?

Everyone should wear a mask at all times, except when eating, drinking, consuming medication or engaging in strenuous physical exercise.

However, if your employee has severe medical conditions, they can wear a face shield in lieu of a mask.

4. What should I do if my employees are unwilling to work from home because their home is not conducive for work?

The overarching objective of these regulations is to reduce physical interactions in order to prevent spread of COVID-19. Employers can consider different ways to implement working arrangements that comply with the Safe Management Measures for the workplace, while taking business and employee preferences into account.

5. As most of my employees are either doing frontline work or fieldwork operations, it is not feasible for me to rearrange the work such that they can work-from-home. Will I be penalised for not providing such work arrangements?

Employers must demonstrate the business or operational reasons why the workers working at the workplace are unable to work-from-home despite review and redesign of work processes. Our inspectors will assess the efforts put in by companies to implement work-from-home arrangements based on the practicality of whether the workers can work-from-home given the nature of the job.

For the safety of workers at the workplace, employers should put in place other Safe Management Measures at the workplace (e.g. ensuring safe distancing, ensuring use of SafeEntry, etc. ) to provide a safe working environment and minimize risk of further outbreaks.

Special attention should also be paid to vulnerable employees (e.g. persons who are aged 60 and above, and patients who are immunocompromised or have concurrent medical conditions) to enable them to work from home. Employers are encouraged to:

  1. Enable these employees to work from home.
  2. Allow them to travel to and from work at off-peak timings.
  3. Temporarily redeploy them to another role within the company.
  4. Take other appropriate measures to reduce their exposure to infection risk.

6. Are companies required to ensure staggered start times and implement flexible workplace hours for employees at the workplace?

With more employees back in the office, employers are encouraged to stagger the start times for all employees such that at least half of all employees arrive at the workplace at or after 10am, as far as possible. This would enable more employees to avoid peak-hour travel, especially if employees require the use of public transport. Timings of lunch and other breaks should also be staggered accordingly.

For employees who can work from home but who return to the workplace, employers should also allow for flexible workplace hours. This is not to shorten work hours, but to allow flexibility to reduce the duration spent in the workplace, while also working from home during the day.

To illustrate, employers can allow a proportion of your employees to work in the workplace from 10am to 4pm, and fulfil their remaining work hours from home. Employers can also allow your employees to work from home in the morning, and only return to the workplace in the afternoon, e.g. from 1pm to 5pm, or return to the workplace only for meetings and work from home the rest of the day.

7. Is there a limit on the number of attendees in a physical meeting?

Physical meetings are regarded as work-related events and are allowed to proceed with a cap of 50 physical attendees. They will also be subject to other Safe Management Measures being put in place, depending on the specific premises where the event is being held. Nonetheless, companies should continue to conduct virtual meetings as much as possible.

8. Can employees use the recreational facilities (e.g. gyms, lounges) at the workplace in Phase 2?

Recreational facilities at workplaces will be able to reopen in permitted enterprises, subject to the required Safe Management Measures (e.g. maintaining a distance of at least 2-3 metres from each other when engaging in any sporting activity or physical exercise). When visiting such facilities, employees will still have to comply with the relevant Safe Management Measures put in place for that setting.

9. Can employees use employer-provided recreational facilities which are not located at the workplace?

Access to standalone recreational facilities which are located away from employees’ workplaces will depend on the re-opening plans for relevant permitted enterprises.

These facilities will also be subject to stricter safe management measures (e. g. maintaining a distance of at least 2-3 metres from each other when engaging in any sporting activity or physical exercise).

When visiting such facilities, employees will still have to comply with the relevant safe management measures put in place for that setting.

10. Can I hold work-related events outside of my workplace premises?

Yes, work-related events will be allowed to resume at third-party venues, subject to any additional premises owners’ safe management policies.

11. What should I do if my employees are unwilling to work from home because their home is not conducive for work?

Yes, these can be conducted up to 30 participants at a time, or a lower number subject to the size of the premises and the need to maintain safe distance.

The prevailing Safe Management Measures must be adhered to, including:

  1. The ceremony, including religious prayers, should be kept to as short a duration as possible. Participants present should leave the ceremony immediately after it ends.
  2. All individuals present must wear a face mask at all times.
  3. Individuals must observe 1 metre safe distance between themselves and others.
  4. No reception or on-site meals are allowed before, during or after the ceremony.
  5. Singing and other live performances are not permitted during the ceremony.
  6. Premises where the ceremony is held should be well-ventilated. Premises that have reduced air circulation (e.g. air-conditioned prayer hall) should, where possible, open doors and windows to naturally ventilate the space after use.

Up to 75% of staff can return to office from April 5; working from home no longer default mode, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – More employees who are currently working from home will be able to return to the workplace from April 5, as workplaces shift from working from home as the default to a more flexible way of working, Education Minister Lawrence Wong announced on Wednesday (March 24).

Up to 75 per cent of staff can return to the workplace at any one time, up from the current 50 per cent, said Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, at a virtual press conference.

The current restrictions requiring employees to work from home for at least half their working time will also be lifted, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press statement.

Split-team arrangements are also no longer mandatory, though companies may continue to adopt such arrangements for business continuity purposes if they wish to. Restrictions on cross-deployment across workplaces remain in place, MOH added.

Mr Wong said: “We will strongly encourage employers to still stagger the start times and implement flexible working hours, and of course, employers must continue to implement all prevailing safe management measures.”

Social and recreational gatherings at the workplace, such as team bonding events organised by employers, will be allowed, but must be limited to no more than eight people, said MOH.

MOM’s updated workplace requirements 

In its updated requirements for safe management measures at the workplace, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said that employers are encouraged to stagger the start times for all employees such that at least half of them arrive at the workplace at or after 10am, as far as possible. 

Companies should also continue to conduct virtual meetings as far as possible, but if physical meetings are needed, they can be scheduled after 10am. 

“These measures would enable more employees to avoid peak-hour travel, especially if employees require the use of public transport,” said the MOM advisory.

Timings of lunch and other breaks should also be staggered accordingly.

Employers are also encouraged to support as many employees in working from home as possible, which will help limit the number of employees exposed to possible infection at the workplace at any point in time.

They are also asked to pay special attention to vulnerable employees, such as those aged 60 and above or who have medical conditions, to reduce their exposure to infection risk.

This includes allowing them to work from home or travelling to and from work at off-peak timings. 

Flexible workplace hours should also be allowed for workers who can work from home but who are returning to the workplace, so as to reduce the duration spent in the workplace.

For instance, a proportion of workers can work in their workplaces from 10am to 4pm, and work from home for their remaining work hours.

Their companies can also allow them to work from home in the morning, and only return to the workplace in the afternoon or only for meetings.

All work-related events not organised primarily for social interaction – such as conferences, corporate retreats and Annual General Meetings – must adhere to prevailing workplace safe management measures, including capping the number of people at each event to 50.

The tripartite partners, comprising the Ministry of Manpower, National Trades Union Congress and Singapore National Employers Federation, urged companies to adhere to necessary safe distancing and capacity limits in organising work-related events.

“Due to the higher risk of transmission when people are unmasked, meals should not be the main feature of the event, and companies should avoid holding events over mealtimes as far as possible,” said MOH.

Employers must also continue to observe safe management measures such as cleaning common spaces regularly, ensuring that safe distancing is in place and that masks are worn at all times.

MOH said that enforcement action will be taken against employers who fail to comply with the safe management measures, and that will include the possibility of workplace closures.

Employers also have to be prepared that the situation is a dynamic one, it said.

“If there is increased risk of Covid-19 resurgence, we will have to adjust our posture and more stringent measures at workplaces will have to be reintroduced.”

Read next – Further easing of Singapore’s Covid-19 measures: What you need to know

Singapore: Workers Prefer Working From Home?

For anyone who has made that wholesale leap into work-from-home (WFH), it feels like forever since our last 9-to-5 office routine.

From scrambling to convert whatever spaces we could find into an office a year ago – whether a dining table, a sofa, or even the floor – most of us today have settled into a comfortable pattern.

Sure, there were myriad teething issues when the boundaries separating our personal and professional lives melted, turning some homes into a sideshow of horrors for parents with screaming kids.

Cabin fever and the lack of human interaction worsened disconnectedness. Self-discipline and motivation waxed and waned, making self-doubt seem like the only emotion in abundant supply on some days.

But fast forward to today, that nightmare has largely receded into the rear-view mirror. 

By and large, as children returned to schools, as communication tools like Zoom improved reach and reliability, and as we gained more degrees of freedoms with restrictions on gatherings, events and other economic activities easing when Singapore shifted into subsequent phases of our reopening, the outlook for WFH started to look pretty good.

Research has shown workers are more productive, more engaged and more loyal to their firms overall.

Source: Various

The WFH Pandemic Boon

“Nothing can happen for decades and then decades can happen in weeks,” reads a quote famed New York University Professor Scott Galloway shared in his latest book, Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity. 

He describes what a radical transformation COVID-19 has wrought on the world of work, in forcing firms to jettison old mindsets to inevitable change.

Case in point: Flexible work arrangements, once vehemently resisted by controlling bosses and stuffy corporate norms, became the standard overnight. 

The pandemic has also brought into sharper focus employee welfare. Goldman Sachs be darned; companies paid more attention to helping workers cope through this unprecedented disruption. Managers were expected to step up to demonstrate leadership.

We may have had initial doubts about this forced WFH experiment but many have since warmly welcomed it, all things considered. In fact, three in four now working from home say they do not wish to return, according to a Straits Times survey last week.

Worries About Returning To Work

But the pendulum may be swinging back to the other side. With the Singapore Government giving the green light for more to return to the office, firms are cranking up old engines and preparing to welcome back larger groups of workers come Monday (5 April).

Some forewarning was given in January when multi-ministry taskforce co-chair and Education Minister Lawrence Wong highlighted that 100 percent work from home would not be doable in the long term, citing the benefits of face-to-face interactions for collaboration. 

Yet, when I asked EngageRocket CEO Leong Chee Tung and HR strategist Adrian Tan how they felt about the prospects of heading back to the workplace last October on CNA’s Heart of the Matter podcast, their answers were telling.

“I would rather not,” Tan said. 

“(I’m) apprehensive but hopeful for new gains,” said Leong.

Last year, when Singapore was striving to flatten the COVID curve, many workers were understandably keen to minimise external exposure to avoid catching the virus and spreading it to seniors, kids and other loved ones at home.

So, building managers and employers made sure spaces were sufficiently disinfected, work stations well distanced and offices conform to health and safety standards.

After all, workplaces were worryingly a source of outbreaks last summer when Europe reopened offices. In Singapore, a coronavirus cluster formed around a local construction office barely two months ago.

But given close-to-zero community cases today, the concerns workers may have over returning to the office may be even more intangible and personal.

Now we loathe the bane of rush-hour commute, the loss of newfound autonomy and the painful practicalities of having to wear a mask all day while at the office. 

We have invested in home offices, better internet connections and so much more to make WFH work.

WFH has also given workers more time on their hands to spend around family, familial chores and fresh air, while juggling work.

Must we really give it all back? – CNA

Related Articles:

WFH: Longer Work Hours?

Managing Well In The Work-From-Home Era

Work-from-home no longer default mode from April 5, 2021: Lawrence Wong – Mothership.SG

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates on Covid-19: https://t.me/mothershipsg

You might be returning to office more often from April 5, 2021.

Flexible working arrangements

The Ministry of Health has announced in a virtual press conference on Mar. 24, 2021 that Singapore will shift from the default mode of working from home to a more flexible and hybrid working arrangement.

This comes after the tripartite partners, consisting of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), and Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF), have reviewed the safe management measures at workplaces.

This shift will mean that:

  • Up to 75 per cent of the employees (who are presently able to work from home) can now be at the workplace at any one time, up from the current 50 per cent
  • The current cap on the time an employee spends at the workplace will also be lifted
  • Split team arrangements are no longer mandatory, although companies may continue to adopt such arrangements if they wish

However, employers should still continue to stagger start times and implement flexible working hours where possible, MOH added.

Restrictions against cross-deployment across workplaces remain in place.

Team bonding activities allowed

Additionally, social and recreational gatherings will be allowed, but must be limited to group sizes of no more than eight persons.

This includes team bonding events organised by the employer.

Due to the higher risk of transmission when people are unmasked, MOH said that meals should not be the main feature of the event, and that companies should avoid holding events over meal times as far as possible.

Those who fail to comply will have enforcement actions taken against them, including the possibility of workplace closures.

Should there be a resurgence in the virus, MOH will reintroduce more stringent measures.

Top image via Google Maps Street View

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Fujitsu to redesign Singapore office to support flexible working

Fujitsu has announced plans to reconfigure its Singapore office so that employees will have different spaces throughout the office to conduct casual face-to-face meetings, as well as for social interactions.

The company touted shuffling the office space will “empower staff for a more creative and productive experience, focused on communication and people-to-people interaction”.

At the same time, the company said it will review and introduce solutions to further improve existing processes such as IT support, collaboration, project approvals, and introduce login methods that would not require a VPN. For instance, a new helpdesk tool will be rolled out to facilitate IT support for staff whether they are working remotely or in the office.

All 500 Singapore-based Fujitsu employees will also be given the option to spend up to 90% of their time working remotely under these new plans, with the company offering an allowance of up to SG$1,000 for all full-time employees to support their work-from-home needs.

See also: 8 communication tips for telecommuters to master (TechRepublic)

Fujitsu said the new plans are part of what the company has dubbed as its “work life shift”, a five-year campaign that aims to introduce new flexible working arrangements for staff, and was introduced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“An adaptive enterprise is critical to unlocking success, especially in uncertain times. Through Fujitsu’s Work Life Shift initiatives in Singapore, we are reimagining working styles through technology and innovation, connecting people, and boosting collaboration,” Fujitsu Asia president Motohiko Uno said.

“By incorporating the know-how gleaned from our internal learnings, we are better positioned to pivot from risk, add value and productivity, and enable companies in Singapore and Asia to be more agile and resilient.”

Last July, the Japanese conglomerate said it would shut down half of its offices in Japan by the end of the fiscal year 2022 and enable approximately 80,000 Japan-based Fujitsu employees to begin to primarily work remotely, while also expand flexible working hours all Japan-based employees.

The company said it anticipates the changes will improve productivity but also enhance employee work-life balance.  

Related Coverage

90,000 Singapore was considered a coronavirus survivor country. But the joy was premature

  • Anna Jones
  • BBC

Photo Credit, Getty Images

Singapore was considered a model for the effectiveness of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Even before the coronavirus disease was named Covid-19, the Singapore authorities imposed severe travel restrictions and effectively tracked all contacts of infected individuals.This helped to slow the spread of the virus.

But the number of confirmed cases has skyrocketed in recent days. On Thursday, the highest number of detected infections per day was recorded – 287 cases. A day earlier, there were 142.

Most of the infected are among the migrant workers living in overcrowded hostels.

Singapore managed to do without quarantine, but now it had to be partially introduced. Schools are closed, only critical businesses and companies operate, and people are ordered to stay at home.

Experts say that one of the richest countries in the world, which seemed to perform at its best during the pandemic, could be an example for poorer countries while there is still time to put that lesson into practice.

What was going well in Singapore?

The first case of coronavirus infection in the country was detected at the very beginning of the epidemic. The infected was a Chinese tourist who arrived from Wuhan on 23 January.On the same day, a total quarantine was introduced in Wuhan.

By the time the disease was officially named Covid-19, the virus had already begun to spread among Singaporeans. But the authorities had a well-rehearsed plan of action.

In addition to medical checks at airports in Singapore, everyone who was suspected of having an infection was thoroughly tested, everyone who came into contact with the infected was identified, and all contacts were ordered to isolate themselves.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described this as a good example of government mobilization.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

All arriving in Singapore are sent to a mandatory two-day quarantine

For several weeks, Singapore managed to keep the situation under control – there were few infections, all of them could be traced and any sensitive restrictions were not introduced into everyday life in the country.

But Dale Fisher, head of the WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and professor at Singapore National University, told the BBC that everything is fine in Singapore, he said, “Good so far.”

“It is very difficult to contain this disease,” he states.

When did the situation get worse?

The system worked until mid-March, said Professor Yik-Yin Teo, Dean of the So Swee Hock School of Public Health at Singapore State University.

At that moment, the whole danger of the situation became clear in the world and countries began to call on their citizens to return home.

Thousands of people returned to Singapore, including from countries that did not take sufficient measures against the spread of the coronavirus, and as a result, more than 500 people, without knowing it, brought it with them.

At that time, all arrivals were required to be in a two-week home quarantine. But the people who lived with them were told that they could live a daily life as long as any of them did not have symptoms of the disease.

Although the number of new cases increased gradually, by mid-March there were already several dozen of them a day. In most cases, the sick came from other countries or contracted from those who arrived, but for the first time, the authorities faced difficulties in tracking cases of infection in the country.

According to Theo, the main mistake was that the communication of those who returned to the country was not limited. He acknowledged that much more is known about the disease now than in March.

“We know that transmission of the virus without symptoms is quite possible. It happens and may be the main factor in the spread of Covid-19,” he said.

This, he said, means countries should rely on available information with caution. For example, you should not rely on the fact that all those who have recovered will acquire immunity from infection in the future – there is no certainty about this yet.

What lesson can be learned from the Singapore example?

The problem of importing the virus from other countries is now being solved by the fact that all arrivals are immediately sent to state quarantine. Since there are much fewer of them, the number of infected visitors has recently not exceeded a dozen per day.

On Tuesday, Singapore passed a new law, essentially introducing partial quarantine measures across the country, although the word quarantine itself is not directly mentioned in it.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Famous eateries can only sell food to take away

Leaving the house is allowed only when necessary or for sports. Violators face fines of up to $ 7,000 or imprisonment of up to six months.

Professor Yik-Yin Teo believes that the measures will be effective. At the same time, in the short term, the rate of new infections may well increase – this will be a consequence of what has happened in the last seven days, and not evidence of the failure of the measures taken.

However, over the past week, the number of infections among migrant workers has increased exponentially. The country employs hundreds of thousands of people from poorer countries in construction, shipping and building maintenance.

Singapore’s economy relies heavily on these workers, but the working conditions prevent them from social distancing.

In addition, according to the law, workers are required to live in dormitories – private buildings, which can accommodate up to 12 people per room.People are forced to use a shared toilet, shower and kitchen.

It seems like it was only a matter of time before these hostels became breeding grounds for infection. And so it happened. In hostels, about 500 cases were detected, and in one of them the number of infections is 15% of the total in the country.

Minister of National Development of Singapore Lawrence Wong said yesterday that if it had been known in advance about the speed of the spread of the virus, he would have acted differently. Many workers continued to work even with symptoms.

The authorities fear that the number of cases will jump sharply in the next few days.

According to Theo, the situation in the hostels may be an example of what will happen in some other countries, especially those with lower middle income, where there are not enough funds to combat the spread of the virus.

“One has only to look at the many countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and in some places in Africa. There are areas where people live in a dormitory-like environment,” he said.

According to him, now all governments need to look at their countries “through an honest and transparent lens” and an unbiased assessment of their ability to minimize the risk of an uncontrolled outbreak in places where there is a high concentration of people.

Professor Lee Yang Soo of the same Seo Swee Hock School of Public Health believes that this will also teach the importance of social equality.

“The virus has very effectively shown us the weakness of our society, and this certainly applies to labor migrants,” he said.

Dormitories meet all international requirements for living conditions for people, in particular, the area per person, said Li Yang Su. According to him, the current situation demonstrates that these requirements are simply insufficient.

“Perhaps rich countries like Singapore can do more to protect the health and well-being of the people who are so important to our society,” he said.

Photo author, Getty Images

Photo caption,

Migrant workers are important to the Singapore economy

Now about 24 thousand.workers are quarantined in dormitories – they receive wages and are provided with food. The government said it will actively test for coronavirus and relocate some non-infectious people to empty buildings or army camps to reduce crowding.

Human rights organization Transient Workers Count compared the events in hostels to cruise ships, where a large percentage of passengers were infected with the virus. According to human rights activists, Singapore’s strategy is risky, and the number of cases can increase dramatically.The organization called on the authorities to take immediate action to improve the living conditions of workers.

Labor Minister Josephine Theo assured that she will work to improve living conditions in hostels, because “it will be right.”

Is Singapore an example that the virus cannot be contained?

Despite the criticism that the country introduced quarantine measures too late, Professor Fisher believes that Singapore began to act much earlier than other countries, when the number of infections barely exceeded 100 cases per day.

According to him, the success of the quarantine depends on three things. First, transmission of the virus must be stopped – and that will happen if people stay at home. Then the health care system will need time and space to recover – so that hospital wards become vacant, and doctors can rest.

“Thirdly, it is necessary to put in order all systems – all places of isolation, the ability to function during quarantine, laws, contact tracing. If you just do the first and second, and then remove the restrictions, history will repeat itself,” he said.

Singapore is lucky in a way. Unlike, for example, Britain and the United States, its health care system was not overwhelmed.

Also, the country is ruled by one dominant party, and the media does not oppose it. However, Fischer fears that even though the messages from the authorities are clear and unambiguous, and society as a whole tends to trust them, people still do not always understand how much depends on them.

“They say that yes, of course Singapore should do all this, but I will go to my mother anyway,” he explains the mentality of Singaporeans.

In the two days after the law was introduced, more than 10,000 warnings were issued when people, for example, started eating in food courts instead of taking food with them, or started gathering in public places.

In countries with large populations and more complex political systems, it may take several weeks or months before the light appears at the end of the tunnel.

All countries want to see glimpses of hope, but the example of Singapore teaches that one should not flatter himself – all countries should prepare for the second, and even for the third and fourth waves of infection.

Photo author, Getty Images

Theo believes that if the data on coronavirus infections in the world are close to real spread rates, then many countries still have a small chance to prepare by protecting the most vulnerable people and places with a high density of population. and also try to minimize communication of sick people with other people.

“The world should take a close look at Singapore, especially on the hostel issue, and start figuring out what’s going on there.We need to start preparing peace, even in Europe and America, where there are also areas where people live close to each other. What will happen if Covid-19 appears there? “- he warns.

How to save money in Singapore. 7 proven tips for budget vacations

Waste all the money for one night in a hotel? Easily! It is not for nothing that Singapore is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world. The prices here can empty your wallet in a short amount of time. Skyscanner advises how to visit Singapore and not be left penniless.

1. Forget about the stars

Most of the money spent by travelers in Singapore is spent on housing. According to the Singapore Tourism Bureau, a hotel night costs an average tourist a whopping 219.3 Singapore dollars (S $). In neighboring Bangkok, you can live for three days for the same money. Stay in hostels to save money. Don’t be intimidated by the name, Singapore hostels are nothing like a dozen-bed barracks smelling of backpackers’ socks. For $ 30 you will get a bed, and for $ 100 you will get a clean and bright room in the very center of the city (Chinatown, Serangoon, JLn Besar streets), where most of the hostels are located.

Lifehack: the cheapest hostels tend to occupy the upper floors of buildings. Look in both directions: the signs are often invisible, and the entrance looks like a simple door, “sandwiched” between shops or cafes. If there is a call – press until they open.

20 tips on how to save on housing and not only
Cafes and hotels where the “Singapore sling” and other popular dishes and cocktails were invented

2. Eating at street food courts

Average bill in a restaurant – 20-40S $ per person.You can save money if you eat at street food courts. Do not worry about the quality of the food: everything is served with fervor, with heat. Food courts are very popular – office clerks and respectable businessmen, local patrons and casual tourists will be loudly eating noodles in your neighborhood. Of course, with plastic plates and chopsticks. This pleasure costs ridiculous money for Singapore – $ 4-6S per serving.

Lifehack: To fill up the day ahead, we recommend ordering the signature Singaporean dish Laksa.This is a thick noodle and seafood soup that is cooked in coconut milk and chili. One plate can feed a couple of hungry Robin Bobbins.

Saving in style: 15 cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants in the world

3. Buy ready-made food in FairPrice supermarkets

Supermarket is a lifeline for tourists who cannot afford to dine in restaurants. In Singaporean supermarkets, you can buy ready-to-eat or convenience foods to reheat in the hostel.The most expensive products will cost you in the online stores Cold Storage and Marketplace. If you’re looking to save some money, look for signs from FairPrice, the cheapest supermarket chain in Singapore. The cost of food depends on the location: the farther from the central regions, the cheaper.

Lifehack: If there is no FairPrice supermarket nearby, you can buy food in small Chinese shops. Prices in unnamed stores are lower than in the popular 24/7 chain 7/11.

First time in Asia: where to go, what to eat and where to shop
A street food seller received a Michelin star

4.Buy pass

If you are planning to stay longer in Singapore, we recommend getting an EZ-Link Pass. It is sold in the windows at the subway entrance for $ 15S, 10 of which is your travel balance. You can use your EZ-Link card to pay on the MRT metro, LRT monorail, city buses, some shops and restaurants. The advantage is that with the pass you can save up to S $ 0.7 on each trip. To compensate for the cost of the card itself (5S $), you need to make more than 12 trips.

Lifehack: Many sites advise purchasing a Singapore Tourist Pass for unlimited city travel.The cost of a one-day pass is 20S $. If you return it back within five days after purchase, you will receive 10S $. It is beneficial to use the pass if you have a busy program and you will be driving around the city all day. For example, upon arrival you will check into the hotel, during the day you will take a walk in the Botanical Garden, and in the evening – along the embankment.

The most beautiful and unusual metro in the world
The best applications for ordering a taxi in different countries

5. Walking

The surest way to save money on transport is not to use it.Singapore is small, all the sights are close at hand. The path from Chinatown to the embankment with skyscrapers will take no more than half an hour. This is a good way to get to know Singapore from the non-tourist side and observe the life of the locals. If you don’t feel like planning a route, join free walking tours from Indie Singapore or Monster Day Tours. Local students and activists will take you on a free tour of Singapore’s attractions.

Life Hack: The Singapore Tourism Bureau has long been working on Your Singapore, a travel guide to the city’s attractions, restaurants and entertainment.There is a Walking Trails map especially for hikers who like to walk.

More ideas for walking: the most Instagrammed places in Hong Kong

6. Visit free attractions

Singapore is full of interesting places with free admission. During the day, you can visit the Baba House, the oldest university museum, the NUS Museum, or the main mosque in Singapore. If it gets too hot, relax amidst the tropical jungle of the Botanical Gardens, or take a walk along the cable car in the unique Southern Ridges parkland.And a tour of the Garden By the Bay park of the future will not cost you a penny. A must-see evening on Singapore’s main waterfront, snapping pictures of a giant ship hotel and a crowd of Chinese retirees. Every day at 20:00 and 21:30 a light and sound show is held here, during which dozens of floodlights on the hotel building illuminate the sky with colorful rays.

Lifehack: The famous Marina Bay Hotel is one of the main attractions of Singapore.You can’t get there for free, only guests are allowed. But there is a trick: right through the hotel there is a suspended path to the Garden by the Bay. If you get inside, take a look at the main hall from a height of 22 meters.

Another dream metropolis: what to see in Hong Kong in 1, 2 or 3 days

7. Go to Sentosa

Singapore is a port city, so swimming on the local beaches is not worth it. But nearby is the entertainment island of Sentosa, which is full of good beaches.Usually tourists get to the island on the Sentosa Express monorail for $ 4S. To save money, you can walk about 700 meters across the covered bridge. Previously, when entering the island, you had to pay 1S $, but until December 2020, this fee was canceled.
The Sentosa Express monorail first stops at the Universal Studios amusement park, and then takes tourists to the central beach on the other side of the island. If you board at this station, you will not have to pay for the fare, since all transport in Sentos is free.There is a bus from the central beach along the embankment, you can see all the beaches in a day and not spend a penny.

Lifehack: If your budget allows, be sure to go to the Universal Studios amusement park on Sentos. The ticket price for an adult is 79S $, for a child under 12 years old – 59S $. Check out the Promotions section for great deals.

Complete guide for those going to Disneyland

Don’t miss:

Always up-to-date discounts and sales of air tickets

Do’s and don’ts at airports around the world

11 reasons to believe in the miracle of Singapore

20 safe countries for solo travelers

90,000 The Singapore government has offered residents bonuses for classes with Apple Watch Editor’s note

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90,000 Modular homes with ABB-free @ home multisystem for home automation to be built in Singapore

Singapore is known for its unconventional approach to solving urban planning problems.Since the 1960s, for example, in the city-state there has been a program to increase the area of ​​land by reclaiming territories. The whole of Singapore is divided into quarters, each of which is an independent urban unit with autonomous infrastructure, this allows not to overload the city center and evenly develop all areas. Now the “Asian Tiger” is betting on modular housing construction and is launching a new unusual project Wisteria, as a result of which Singapore may become the largest city consisting of modular buildings.The authorities have already selected a number of districts that will soon be built up with Lego houses, and the first in turn is Yishun, a suburb in the north of the country.

Wisteria is a new residential and commercial development project in Singapore. Illustration courtesy of ABB

The multifunctional complex, in which 60% will be given for housing, and the rest for commercial properties, will consist of three ten-story towers.The buildings will be about 56 meters high. There are planned apartments of various sizes and composition (from one to four bedrooms), each of which will consist of several modules. For example, one module will have a living room, another will have a kitchen and utility room, and a third will have bedrooms. In total, the residential complex is designed for 216 apartments. The first tenants will move into constructor houses in 2018.

Residential and commercial development project in Singapore.Image from theedgeproperty.com.sg

Residential and commercial development project in Singapore. Image from wisteriacondo.com

Residential and commercial development project in Singapore.Image from wisteriacondo.com

Residential and commercial development project in Singapore. Image from wisteriacondo.com

As Andrew Tan, head of construction and engineering company BBR Holdings, explains, erecting a modular building will cost 18% more than traditional construction, but will reduce labor costs by a third.In addition, the process of building houses itself will take 20% less time. And since most of the work will take place outside the construction site (perhaps even on the high seas), the city will be quieter and cleaner.

“Walls, floors, air conditioning and lighting systems will be pre-assembled at the plant, and only then will the blocks be taken to the construction site,” explains the head of BBR Holdings. In addition, a home automation system ABB-free @ home ® , installed in advance (before the modules are combined), will “come” to every Singapore home, which will allow you to remotely monitor the front door, control lighting, ventilation and heating systems in all rooms.It will be possible to adjust the temperature in the home, adjust the degree of illumination or lower the blinds of your home from anywhere in the world. The smart home will be controlled using a laptop or smartphone. While away from home, tenants can also make changes to the control program.

Installation of the ABB-free @ home ® system requires no additional construction work and is not expensive. Smart automation will make new homes even more comfortable, safer, and more energy efficient.

Singapore Changi Airport

Changi International Airport (SIN) is the main air transport hub in Southeast Asia and one of the largest, most beautiful and convenient airports in the world. In addition to its direct function, Singapore airport also serves as a venue for business conferences, holidays, festivals and exhibitions. There are so many entertainments here that residents of the city often come here to relax with their families as a shopping and entertainment center.

Singapore Airport is equipped with the most modern equipment and various amenities for passengers and visitors: restaurants and cafes with live music, cinemas, children’s playgrounds, gyms and swimming pools, duty free shops, smoking rooms, beauty salons, free armchairs with foot massage, prayer rooms and more. Despite the high passenger traffic, there are never crowds in the waiting rooms, there are always a lot of free seats, there are even comfortable sofas to sleep in.During its short history, Changi has received many prestigious awards and awards as the best airport in the world.

If you are flying in transit and are not in a hurry, then we advise you to take tickets with a long connection. With a transit visa in Singapore, you can live 96 hours and there is a lot to see.

Cheap Tickets to Singapore

Using this form, you can find the best prices for tickets to Singapore among a large number of airlines and ticket offices.Click search and check prices! Where to buy a ticket is up to you!

Singapore Airport Map

The airport consists of 3 main terminals connected by a transit zone. This allows you to make transfers without going through passport control. You can get from one terminal to another in several ways:

– on the Changi Skytrain monorail. Open from 05:00 to 02:30. Travel is free. Trains leave every 2-3 minutes. Travel time is about 2 minutes.The stations are located on the second floor of each terminal.

– by Shuttle Bus (in the Transfer Lounge diagram). They work during the day and at night. Travel is free. Departure takes place approximately every 20 minutes. Travel time is from 7 to 20 minutes. The stations are located on the second floor of each terminal.

– Walking Time (on the diagram, a man and white thin lines). There are special moving walkways between terminals 1, 2, 3 (like a horizontal escalator, only a very long one).You can just drive along them, and if you are in a hurry, you can go. The journey takes no more than 10 minutes.

Finding your way around the airport is easy – there are intuitive signs in English everywhere. Free airport map brochures are available at the information desks. You can also see the diagram on the airport’s official website.

Terminal 1 (T1)

Accepts airlines: Turkish Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air Garuda, Korean Airlines, China Eastern and others.

  • Inter-Terminal Shuttle Bus. Departure Check-in Hall, Level 2, Door 5
  • Duty-free shops, recreation areas, outdoor terrace with a garden, spa center, business center.
  • Prayer room (level 2)
  • Smoking rooms (levels 2 and 3)
  • Rooftop Pool at Ambassador Transit Hotel (Level 3). You don’t have to be a hotel guest. For only 13 SGD you can use the pool, jacuzzi, shower, towel and get a soft drink.
  • Cactus Garden (level 3). More than 40 species of cacti, brought from South America and Africa, grow here.
  • Playground for children up to 12 years old (level 3)
  • The Kinetic Rain installation is one of the airport’s highlights. It is a set of drops moving along the music, suspended from the ceiling.

Terminal 2 (T2)

Accepts airlines: Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, and Silk Air.

  • Inter-Terminal Shuttle Bus. Departure Check-in Hall, Level 2, Door 1.
  • Duty-free shops, spa center, business center, post office.
  • CitySightseeing sightseeing buses. Level 1, arrivals hall. Opening hours: 7: 00-11: 00. Tel: (65) 6546 5910.
  • Enchanted Garden (Level 2)
  • Orchid Garden (Level 2)
  • Children’s playground (level 2)
  • Prayer room (level 2)
  • Smoking rooms (level 2 and 3)
  • Sunflower garden (level 3)
  • Cinema (level 3)
  • Transit Hotel (level 3)
  • Multimedia entertainment center (level 3)

Terminal 3 (T3)

The most beautiful and modern terminal at the airport in Singapore.It was built using “green” technologies and can be safely attributed to one of the city’s attractions.

  • Inter-Terminal Shuttle Bus. Departure Check-in Hall, Level 2, Door 8.
  • Duty-free shops, spa center, business center, cinema, aviation gallery
  • 4-storey spiral slide The Slide @ T3
  • CitySightseeing sightseeing buses (level 1, arrivals hall). Opening hours: 7: 00-11: 00. Tel: (65) 6214 9123
  • Children’s playground (level 2)
  • Prayer room (level 2)
  • Butterfly Garden (level 2 and 3)
  • Smoking rooms (level 2 and 3)
  • Cinema (level 3)
  • Transit Hotel (level 3)
  • Crown Plaza Hotel

Budget Terminal

The terminal has air conditioning, free internet, cafes and restaurants, but there is no luggage storage and transit passengers.This means that if you are flying with a transfer through this terminal, then you will have to take your luggage, and then check in again for the flight and go through customs. From the budget terminal, you can only get to Terminal 2 by a free shuttle bus.

JetQuay Terminal (Commercially Important People)

Accepts private jets and VIP passengers.

On its territory there are swimming pools, spa centers, massage parlors and other infrastructure.

Wifi internet

There are more than 300 points of free Internet access on the territory of the airport.To connect to the wifi network of Changi Airport, you need to dial # WiFi @ Changi.

If you do not have a device to connect to the network, there are computers at the airport that you can use completely free of charge. There are also charging stations for mobile phones.

Restaurants, cafes and coffee houses

In each terminal of the airport there are many places where you will be offered a wide variety of dishes from different cuisines of the world. Prices in them are about the same as in the city itself.

Ambassador Transit Hotel

The Ambassador Transit hotel for transit passengers is located on the 3rd floor of each of the three terminals.The cost of rest in them is about – 35 SGD for 3 hours + 10 SGD for each subsequent hour. You can book this hotel at a low price here.

Currency exchange

There are many ATMs and currency exchange offices in all airport terminals. The course is normal, but it can change, see for yourself.

Baggage Services

There are paid luggage storage facilities in each terminal. The price depends on the size, weight and shelf life. The prices can be found here.

Duty Free Stores

Prices in Duty Free Singapore can be viewed in their online store. All items are quoted in Singapore dollars.

Free excursions from the airport

If the waiting time for a connecting flight is more than 5 hours, then you can go by bus for a free sightseeing tour of the sights of Singapore. On it you will see a 165-meter Ferris wheel, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the Merlion statue (the symbol of Singapore), the Esplanadu Theater and some other attractions.

Daytime sightseeing tours last 2 hours and are held several times a day: 09: 00-11: 00, 11: 30-13: 30, 14: 30-16: 30, 16: 00-18: 00. You can check in at least one hour before their start at The Free Singapore Tours desks located in Terminals 2 and 3 (see terminal map).

In the evening from 18:30 to 20:30 there is a free sightseeing tour of the night city. On it you will visit the Bugis Village night market, admire the financial center of the city and the Marina Bay promenade.

Paid sightseeing tours on the CitySightseeing buses can also be booked at Changi Airport. They have offices in Terminals 2 and 3. Buses leave every 15 minutes.

Flight Schedule (Singapore Airport Online Scoreboard)

Location of Singapore airport on the map

The airport is located in the Changi area, 17 kilometers from Singapore. Hotels near the airport are marked on the map.

How to get from Singapore airport to the city and back

All types of transport are well developed in Singapore.You can get from the airport to any point in the city at any time of the day with virtually no traffic jams.

Taxi (transfer)

The most comfortable way is to order a taxi from Singapore airport to the city online. The driver will meet you at Changi airport in the arrivals area, help you with your luggage and take you to the address you need in a comfortable car.

You can also find a taxi on the spot in the arrivals area of ​​each terminal, but don’t be surprised if you see a queue for boarding (this is possible in Singapore).Travel time is about 30 minutes. A trip to the city by a regular taxi will cost from about 25 Singapore dollars during the day, and from 50 at night. There are also executive class taxis: limousines, convertibles, etc.

Metro MRT

There is a Mass Rapid Transit station between terminals 2 and 3 of the airport. The road to the city will take 27 minutes. You can get from any airport terminal to this station by a special SBS Transit train and SMRT Buses, which pass next to each terminal.The metro operates from 05:30 to 23:20.

Shuttle Maxicab Shattle

These shuttles run between the airport and various districts of the city, delivering passengers wherever they need (except for Sentosa Island). You can order a shuttle at the transportation desks located in the arrivals areas of Terminals 1 and 2.

Shuttles depart from 06:00 to 00:00 every 15-30 minutes. Fare: adult ticket – $ 11.5, child ticket – $ 7.7. Payment to the driver upon boarding.

Bus

There are bus stops on the ground floor of each terminal.Bus number 36 runs from 06:00 to 24:00. The fare is about $ 2. Travel time is about 1 hour.

Car

There is an excellent toll road from the airport to the city – East Coast Parkway. To pay for travel, you need to purchase a special electronic card at the airport or car rental offices.

You can rent a car right at the airport. There are rental points in the arrivals hall of each terminal. They work from 07:00 to 23:00. Take advantage of the free service to find the best prices for car rental in Singapore.

There is parking at the airport in terminals 1, 2 and 3. It costs 1.30 per day, 0.04 minute.

🔥🔥🔥 We have created groups in VK and on Facebook, where we will make selections with hot tours and cheap air tickets. Join them, subscribe to the Telegram channel and be the first to receive the most delicious offers.

Find the best prices on hotels and tickets in Singapore!

90,000 10 things to know about Singapore BEFORE you travel

1.Visa-free transit to Singapore

Visa-free transit to Singapore applies to representatives of 12 nationalities and is valid for 96 hours .

Merlion, Marina Bay, Singapore

Is 4 days enough to visit a tiny country like Singapore, or do you need more time? We have tested the visa-free transit to Singapore first hand and share it in this article.

To Singapore with or without a visa: what you need to know?

2.Changi – the coolest airport in the world

We flew to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur, and even before landing we estimated the size of the island – why can’t we see it here in 4 days ?! But it all started with airport – the coolest in the world .
From the amount of entertainment at the Singapore Airport – eyes run! There is a swimming pool, a 5-storey playground, a museum, a cinema, a sunflower garden, a long slide, a pond with unusual fish and even a butterfly garden, to name just a few! At the airport in Singapore, you can spend a day or more in peace.There are 90,159 places full of places to sleep, eat and recharge!

Pond with crucian carp

We arrived at Terminal 2, and in 1.5 hours we did not manage much. We visited several unusual parks, created pictures using stencils and ordered our photos from black and white balloons on our mail.

Needless to say that Wi-Fi is everywhere ?! There are automatic machines scattered all over Terminal 2, in which it is easy to get a personal code for using wi-fi, but in my case the system for some reason did not work.It doesn’t matter – the airport staff entered the password into my smartphone.

Wi-Fi at Singapore Airport with passport

3. Free City Tour

Travel Hack: If you are connecting in Singapore to your next flight in 6 hours or less, you can get a free bus city tour … Our flight was 3 days later, so we went through customs.

free tour

The first impression of Singaporeans is that they are very polite and smiling .And it seems quite sincere. The economy is fine, tourists are coming, the police are working. Why should they be afraid?

4. Unlimited public transport

Not surprisingly, Transport in Singapore is superb . You can get to almost anywhere on the island by metro and buses. If not, you can order a Grab or a taxi.

Public transport prices relatively low (compared to local wages and transport prices in the world’s leading economic development cities).For example, travel within the central part of the island will cost a little less than S $ 1.

EZ Link Card

More details, MRT (high-speed metro) costs from 0.78 S $ to 2.03 S $ , bus fare – 0.79 S $ to 2.07 S $ .

It would seem that such a developed country should have problems with traffic jams. But no! In Singapore – there is no problem with traffic jams due to the high car tax. It turns out that it is much more profitable to travel by public transport.

How to choose transport? According to locals, the metro will cost about the same as the bus, but the metro is faster. In Singapore, even taxis are classified as public transport, and at rush hour there is even a queue for it.

Travelhack: Buy a travel card.

Still at the airport, will you have a choice of which card to buy – the EZ-Link Card or the Singapore Tourist Pass?

EZ-Link Card Singapore Tourist Pass
  • Applies to all types of public transport (MRT, LRT, buses) and some shops.
  • Applies to all types of public transport (MRT, LRT, buses).
  • Costs S $ 10: S $ 5 is on the account, the rest are not returned.
  • The card can be used for 2 years.
  • Card cost S $ 10 – refundable.

We didn’t know that the EZ-Link Card is non-refundable, so we bought it.For 3 days we spent on the travel and spent 22 S $ per person , so the Singapore Tourist Pass wouldn’t pay off.

You can buy tickets separately at the stations, but this is not so convenient. Whether to buy a card or not is up to you.

5. An affordable way to spend the night in Singapore

In Singapore you can stay anywhere , it all depends on your imagination, and most importantly – financial possibilities. And although you are unlikely to be allowed to spend the night in a tent, acquaintances spent the night at the airport for a couple of days (which is free).

Wherever you plan to spend the night, accommodation is still desirable to book – this can be checked at the border. Although we did not check.

Singapore is an expensive country , so we chose one of the cheapest options to spend the night – a hostel in the Indian quarter. Among the many hoteliers we chose Mori Hostel, paying S $ 105 for two for 3 nights . For our dates, it turned out to be one of the most profitable options of all those that were with breakfast .

Mori hostel is the cheapest hostel offered by Booking at the time.

In fact, the situation on the “booking” is constantly changing, so do not be too lazy to select housing according to your preferences.

6. Jacket – useful!

Strange, why do you need a jacket on the equator? If you suddenly get high from the heat, then know that are indigenous people – no ! They have lived their entire lives at the equator, and therefore enjoy every opportunity to experience the cold.
After the heat outside, you will experience a colossal temperature drop of indoors and on public transport.In public premises, the temperature is below +20 degrees. This is another contrast, considering that on the street during the day it is usually not lower than +30.

For example, the subway is cold enough.
So even if a warm jacket is not useful for everyone, the windbreaker will certainly not be superfluous. This was expected, since in Kuala Lumpur the temperature in the subway is about the same as in Singapore.

Kuala Lumpur in 2 days: Ganesha, Bird Park and Science Festival

7.Singlish is spoken here

In multinational Singapore, there are only officially 5 national languages. And one of them is English.

Singlish is not the national language of , but it is spoken by the majority of the local population.

What kind of language is this? Singlish is based on abbreviated English words with the addition of Chinese and Malay vocabulary.

This is because in Singapore the local population is represented by three main national groups – about 75% of Chinese, 13% of Malays and almost 10% of Indians.

A popular destination by Marina Bay for locals and tourists alike.

Like most major cities in the world, Singapore has Chinatown and Little India.

And although the locals use Singlish in all their communication with each other, do not worry, they will definitely understand your English and answer you in English.

8. Get ready to spend money on food

If travel in Singapore is relatively inexpensive, accommodation is comparable to European prices, and some attractions are even free.

Food prices and food layouts

But what you really have to spend on is food. If you follow the contents of your wallet, but are used to ordering without looking at the menu, then in Singapore it is better not to do so.

Marina Bay Food Prices

A meal of in a typical Singapore establishment can cost S $ 20-30 per person . But if you look into the local area and walk around there, you will find establishments where can eat at around S $ 5 per person.

Travelhack for Vegetarians: Singaporean cuisine is not the most vegetarian-friendly because it is similar to Chinese. This means that there is meat in almost everything, and there may even be several types in one dish. In search of meat-free food – check out Indian cafes.

9. Light and Water Show

And although I have never been a big fan of the light show, this action in Singapore cannot leave you indifferent.

Spectra – A Light & Water Show, Marina Bay, Singapore

Depart Marina Bay after sunset and expect to start around 10pm.On the way, check out Gardens by the Bay . They are located just behind the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

The Gardens by the Bay Show usually starts at 7:45 pm and ends one hour later. This is followed by a light show at Marina Bay. Check the schedule on the website, as it may change depending on holidays or other events.

Gardens by the Bay, Singapure

Both events are open air and are free for those wishing to relax and enjoy the energy of the water.In these minutes, water and light seem to come to life and something begins!

What is there to tell, you need to see it!

10. Bicycles can be rented free of charge

As soon as you get out of the metro, you immediately notice how many bicycles there are around. Most of them are rental bicycles of the Chinese company ofo .

It’s hard to imagine how many yellow bicycles can be seen around the city. And this made us want to rent a bike.

Marina Bay, Singapore

It turned out that you can rent a bike quite simply, and the first ride is free! Follow the link for step-by-step instructions on how we got to cycle around Singapore for free.

JOINT RENTAL: What’s This? | How did we get the bikes for FREE?

In this article, you learned about ten things to know about Singapore before arriving in this tiny country .

The next question arises – how to spend time effectively? We will answer it in the next article describing the trip program. Read about our intensive 3 days visa-free transit in Singapore.

Singapore in 3 Days: Aquarium, Zoo, Formula 1

Do you know something about Singapore that you want to share? Write in the comments.

Let Singapore never cease to amaze!

Watch our full Singapore travel video and subscribe to our channel.

Swissotel The Stamford – 5 Star Hotels in Singapore

To ensure the health and safety of our guests, we have implemented strict security measures at the hotel. Check out the security measures that will be taken during your stay.

Immerse yourself in a world of comfort and unrivaled Swiss hospitality at Swissotel The Stamford, Singapore’s leading business hotel and one of the tallest buildings in Southeast Asia. This hotel is ideally located in the heart of Singapore, right next to City Hall MRT Station and other major transport hubs. Enjoy a luxury hotel stay in one of the city’s finest neighborhoods, close to world-class shopping, dining, entertainment and business.

Our 1,252 beautifully decorated rooms and suites offer the highest level of comfort. They open out onto a private balcony with stunning views of the Singapore skyline and nearby Malaysian and Indonesian islands. Rooms have high-speed Internet access, and standard Wi-Fi is available in the hotel’s public areas. Designed for executive traveling executives, the Level 65 Lounge offers a wide range of business services to make working away from home comfortable and productive.

At the Raffles City Convention Center, which is over 10,030 sq. m, unparalleled, 34 versatile, fully equipped meeting rooms at your disposal, suitable for events of all sizes. All premises are equipped with the latest technology. Every detail is thought out to the smallest detail. A team of experienced conference specialists will take care of all the organizational issues so that you can fully focus on your business meeting.

Indulge your inner hedonist with a delicious meal at one of Swissotel The Stamford’s 13 restaurants and bars, including JAAN by Kirk Westaway, a one-star Michelin-starred Singapore.

Find out more about our services and facilities.

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