Changi Airport turns quiet on first day of restricted access
Changi Airport turned silent yesterday, the first day of its closure to the public, even as a steady stream of airport workers returned for their Covid-19 swab tests.
A few shoppers, unaware of the temporary closure of Jewel and restricted access to the terminal buildings, showed up but were turned away.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) had said on Wednesday that they would allow only some workers and travellers to access the airport terminal buildings for two weeks from yesterday.
Jewel will also be closed during this period.
The closure comes as the authorities embark on a massive testing of airport workers following a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases linked to a cleaner at the airport.
CAAS and CAG said they will continue to review and adjust measures as needed. This includes extending the closure if necessary.
When The Straits Times visited Terminal 3 yesterday morning, a few people were seen walking around in full personal protective equipment.
The departure hall was largely empty, except for a handful of people with luggage.
The entrance to the link bridge at Terminal 3 connecting to Jewel was manned by a security guard, who scanned passes presented by workers before letting them through.
Meanwhile, the usual access to Terminals 1 and 3 via the underground bus stops was closed off.
Notices of the airport's closure to the public were pasted on doors.
Those looking to make their way into the airport were asked to enter via the visitor pass office.
At Terminal 3, even airport staff were not allowed to pass through the usual exit to the bus bay.
The closure of the doors to the bus bay at Terminal 3 created confusion among some of the airport staff, many of whom were reporting for their Covid-19 swab tests.
A few workers who arrived by bus waited outside the doors for a security officer seated inside to let them in, but to no avail. Another worker who wanted to get to the MRT station was similarly confused.
They eventually made their way in through a side entrance, which also led directly to the station. On this route, which spans about 20m, access to the rest of Terminal 3 was cordoned off with metal barriers.
Airport staff were also deployed in front of the escalator leading up from the MRT station. Only workers and travellers were allowed to pass through.
Madam Nordah Jaafar, 64, who works at one of the stalls at the Terminal 3 Kopitiam foodcourt, where Covid-19 cases have visited, said she is worried about her income now that she is unable to work for two weeks.
She was at the airport waiting to head to Terminal 4 for her Covid-19 swab test.
"I will have to talk to my boss and see how... (I am) lucky my husband and son are both working," she said.