Travel Bubble: Hong Kong, Singapore to Launch Air Travel Bubble From May 26
In an announcement made Monday, Hong Kong and Singapore announced that they would launch an air travel bubble in May, months after an initial agreement that would allow tourists to fly freely between the two cities was postponed.
Flights will begin on May 26. Visitors who meet the qualifications for flying within the air travel bubble will not be quarantined.
Hong Kong and Singapore previously announced plans to launch the air travel bubble in November last year but shelved the plan days before it was scheduled to begin after Hong Kong saw a spike in COVID-19 infections.
Singapore and Hong Kong seeking to boost tourism amid the pandemic, which has caused some countries to close the border and put a halt to air travel.
“The two governments have reached consensus on the latest arrangement and will put in place more stringent public health protocols in response to the latest epidemic development,”
Said Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau, in a statement.
“Our goal remains striking a right balance between public health and travel convenience so that the public will rest assured while maintaining certainty.”
Hong Kong travellers must be fully vaccinated two weeks before travelling to Singapore. However, Singaporeans do not need to be vaccinated before heading to Hong Kong. Furthermore, they need to stay for 14 days before travelling; mandatory quarantine is not included in this period.
Under the new arrangement, the travel bubble would temporarily stop if seven consecutive days of border-city untraceable coronavirus cases exceed five.
Travel Bubble will only resume this after a minimum threshold of unlinked cases has been reached, with three consecutive days of no more than three unlinked cases for the third day and a moving average of not more than five such cases for the third day.
Tracing apps for the destination will also be downloaded by travellers from both cities.
“I am happy that Hong Kong got the COVID-19 situation under control. It has been a long few months, but the conditions are now ripe again to re-launch the ATB. Both sides will need to stay very vigilant in the next month to launch the first flights smoothly. It is a significant ATB between two aviation and financial services hubs in Asia,”
said Singapore’s Minister for Transport, Ong Ye Kung, in a statement.