Singapore and Hong Kong to open travel bubble

World

Singapore and Hong Kong have agreed to start quarantine-free travel between the two cities from 26 May.

The long-delayed travel bubble was first slated to begin in November, but was suspended after a sudden spike of Covid infections in Hong Kong.

If it goes ahead, the travel bubble will be the second major air route in the region to open following Australia and New Zealand resuming flights last week.

It’s expected to provide a boost to the tourism sectors of 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 (Air Travel Bubble)”, said Singapore’s Minister of Transport, Ong Ye Kung, in a statement.

The ATB will begin cautiously with just one flight a day in each direction carrying a maximum of 200 passengers for the first two weeks.

It’s a more restrained approach compared to Australia and New Zealand, which launched their bubble with hundreds of flights a week.

All passengers departing from Hong Kong are required to be vaccinate, and passengers from both cities are expected to take a test within three days of departure and again on arrival.

The bubble will be suspended for at least two weeks if the seven-day moving average of unlinked community cases in either city increases to more than five.

Travellers from both cities will be required to download each other’s contact-tracing app prior to their departure.

“Our goal remains striking a right balance between public health and travel convenience so that the public will feel assured while providing certainty,” Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said.

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