[UPDATE 17 May] For those looking forward to travelling to Hong Kong, will have to wait further as the long-awaited travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong has been put on hold indefinitely for the second time. This decision was taken amid a sharp rise in unlinked COVID-19 cases on the island.
A further announcement on when to resume the launch of the travel bubble will be made on or before June 13. That is when Singapore’s current round of anti-pandemic measures is due to expire.
The new rules come at a time when Singapore has recently seen a sharp uptick in cases, reporting 42 such infections over the past week, including 11 on Monday.
As you know just a few weeks ago it was announced that the much-anticipated air travel bubble would start on May 26.
[April 26] The Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) announced on Monday (26 April) that one flight (per day) in each direction will kick off in a month’s time. Each flight will carry 200 passengers and this process will continue for the first two weeks.
These flights under the agreement allow people to travel quarantine-free between both the financial hubs.
Revival Of Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble Announced
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The Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble has been in the works for months. The first flight was originally planned for 22 November, 2020. But the creation of a travel corridor between the two was delayed because of rise in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong.
The plan to announce the revival of the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble was also cancelled at the last minute, last week by the Singapore side. The government of Hong Kong had said that their discussion to re-launch “is at an advance stage and the government will make announcement as soon as practicable.”
In a press release on Thursday (22 April), MOT had stated the two cities had not decided on a fixed date to announce the bubble’s resumption. But they “will do so once we are ready, hopefully very soon.” And that time has now come.
Travel Bubble To Have A Cautious Start: What Families Must Know
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MOT announced that the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble will have a cautious start. The ministry shared that there will be one flight a day in each direction, according to The Straits Times. The 200-odd passenger capacity will be reviewed thereafter.
“It has been a long few months, but the conditions are now ripe again to re-launch the ATB (air travel bubble). Both sides will need to stay very vigilant in the next one month, so that we can launch the first flights smoothly,” says Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung.
To keep the COVID-19 situation under control, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, said that they have been active discussion with Singapore on the re-launch. They will be putting into place “more stringent public health protocols.”
“Our goal remains striking a right balance between public health and travel convenience so that the public will feel assured while providing certainty,” says Mr Edward Yau.
Singapore and Hong Kong will closely monitor the situation from now up to the targeted launch in May. If the situation appears to remain under control in the two cities, they will proceed with the launch.
So if you or any member of your family is planning to jet set to Hong Kong know that only one flight is allowed per direction. In addition, you must also know about some other necessary protocols, as shared by The Straits Times.
- Travellers must have either remained in Hong Kong or Singapore in the last 14 days before their departure to each country
- This 14-day period excludes any time spent in “quarantine or stay-home notice (SHN) arising from their last return to Singapore or Hong Kong from overseas.”
In addition, be vigilant and wear you masks, and if you are travelling with children, ensure you have necessary clearance.
News Source: The Straits Time
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