The ups and downs continue this week with increased restrictions in Beijing and Chennai while low cases elsewhere has led to some easing.

Thailand has lifted its national curfew, permitting non-essential businesses and schools to reopen.  In Malaysia, foreign knowledge workers holding key posts with existing immigration status may return to the country.  A process has also been put into place for employers to apply for approval of new immigration passes for the same category of worker.  It may not be a quick or easy process, but it is a path.

Taiwan is easing some border restrictions for essential business travelers and students from low-risk countries.  And as of June 19, Singapore will move into stage 2 of the Circuit Breaker opening restaurants and bars and permitting our services there to begin again (with restrictions and safety measures, of course.)

About a month ago, we published our Second-Best Case Scenario Handbook.  In this publication we outlined multiple service programs available to support assignees in a myriad of covid-caused situations.  We also touched on a subject that is becoming more important as service delivery resumes – the distinction between “Virtual” and “Contactless or Limited Contact” services.

Virtual services typically don’t involve in-person support and often involve digital services only as part of a reduced-cost program.  And yes, we have an app for that.  Many clients today are requesting “virtual” service delivery when what is actually desired is traditional destination service programs delivered with little to no physical interaction, otherwise Contactless.  While limiting the human element in a Virtual program reduces the cost, removing the face-to-face human interaction from a traditional DSP service does not. It may be a fine distinction, but as service delivery begins again that first group of assignments fall under pricing, service scopes and policies created for a different world.  It is an evolving situation that requires some consideration.

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