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Talks to renew Singapore Grand Prix contract ongoing: Iswaran

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SINGAPORE — Singapore is currently in discussions with Formula One and the Singapore Grand Prix (GP) for a new term of the Formula One race in the city-state, said Transport Minister S Iswaran on Monday (15 November).

"We all recognise that events such as the Formula One generates significant economic benefits and global branding value for Singapore," said Iswaran, who addressed reporters at a virtual media briefing by the multi-ministry task force on COVID-19 (MTF).

"You will be well aware our tourism and lifestyle sectors have been hard hit by COVID-19, and many events including the past two editions of the Formula One season (in) Singapore have been canceled or postponed."

And as Singapore works to resume international events with the essential safeguards in place, discussions for another term of the Formula One Night Race have begun. Iswaran has been assigned by MTF co-chair and Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong to oversee the matter.

The Transport Minister was responding to a query on whether bigger events such as the Singapore GP would be allowed to go ahead, in light of newly announced pilot programmes to ease capacity limits and zoning requirements on selected Mice (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), spectator sports and live performance events.

One of these events will be the Bloomberg New Economy Forum (NEF), which takes place from Tuesday till Friday. Last month, controversy ensued when it was revealed that local and foreign delegates at the NEF month's will be allowed to dine together in groups of up to five at NEF venues and other designated restaurants.

Among the other pilot events are the Milken Institute Asia Summit (15-16 November), Industrial Transformation Asia Pacific 2021 (22-24 November), JJ Lin’s charity live concert “After the Rain” (27-28 November 2021), and a ONE Championship martial arts event in the coming months. More details on the safe management measures will be released by the respective event organisers.

Meanwhile, the authorities have been sourcing for more high quality and affordable self-test Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kits to bring down costs.

Last Monday, the Health Sciences Authority approved the Flowflex ART kit under the Pandemic Special Access Route (PSAR) for self-test use, bringing the total number of approved ART kits to nine. Additionally, two other ART kits have been approved to undergo PSAR registration.

“We expect these kits to be priced significantly below the current prices of ART kits,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Monday.

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