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Basement 2 of Changi Airport T3 to be closed, 9,000 staff to be swabbed after spate of Covid-19 cases

SINGAPORE — The second basement level of Changi Airport Terminal 3 will be closed to the public temporarily from Monday (May 10), as the airport steps up safety measures following the discovery of eight Covid-19 cases at the airport in recent days.

SINGAPORE — The second basement level of Changi Airport Terminal 3 will be closed to the public temporarily from Monday (May 10), as the airport steps up safety measures following the discovery of eight Covid-19 cases at the airport in recent days.

All workers in Terminals 1 and 3, as well as in Jewel Changi Airport, will undergo a mandatory Covid-19 test starting May 9, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) said in a press release on Sunday.

The "special testing operation" will see about 9,000 workers getting tested, CAAS and CAG said. Terminal 2 is not in operation.

The authorities described the occurrence of eight Covid-19 cases at Changi Airport over the last 10 days as "worrying". "While 92 per cent of frontline aviation workers have been vaccinated, the risk of infection remains," CAAS and CAG said.

Apart from the testing of workers, all vaccinated frontline airport workers who have earlier been placed on a 28-day rostered routine testing cycle will now be placed on a 14-day cycle.

CAAS and CAG said that the second basement level of Terminal 3 is of particular concern because several of the Covid-19 cases had visited retail and food-and-beverage (F&B) outlets there.

Staff members working at these outlets will need to be tested negative before the businesses are allowed to reopen.

When reopened, all F&B outlets there will only be allowed to provide takeaways to airport employees.

Apart from these measures, the main cleaning contractor for Terminal 3 will be placed on a safety time-out for 14 days from May 10, following the detection of four Covid-19 cases among its cleaners.

During this period, the contractor will be required to conduct a full safety review, among other things.

The airport’s main security service provider, which has two infected workers, will also be stepping up its safe management measures.

Separately, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said that it is adopting extra precautionary measures at the seaport following the detection of four infected workers in 10 days.

Two of the positive cases are "lashing workers" who handle cargo operations and work in Pasir Panjang Terminal. Both had been vaccinated.

The third and fourth cases involve a trailer truck driver and an operations assistant.

Special testing operations were conducted on close to 4,000 port workers. As of 3pm on Sunday, 2,750 have been tested negative.

MPA said that the added measures include increasing the frequency of rostered routine testing of frontline dormitory workers from every 14 days to seven days. This applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post that there will be a push to vaccinate medically eligible workers,

More than 95 per cent, or 43,100, of higher-risk workers have received vaccinations, he said, but "recent infections have shown that non-frontline workers can also be at risk".

"A lot is at stake if our seaport and airport cannot function," he added.

"One clear implication is our supply lines, and future survival of Changi Airport."

Related topics

Changi Airport MPA CAG Covid-19 coronavirus

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