No timetable over new travel bubbles

Local | 17 Nov 2020 7:05 pm

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah said there is currently no timetable over what countries are in line to set up new travel bubbles with Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s travel bubble arrangement with Singapore is set to commence on November 22, lawmakers doubt such arrangements would fit in Hong Kong’s disease prevention measures.

Tourism sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing pointed out that the social gathering cap in both Hong Kong and Singapore is different, questioning if authorities have talked to Singapore about the handling of these tourists in regards to the gathering cap.

He also questioned if authorities are making any progress in travel bubble arrangements with other countries.

Commissioner for Tourism Joe Wong Chi-cho stressed that the social gathering cap is now exempted for local tours but not for overseas tour groups. He claimed that authorities will closely monitor the situation with Singapore and make changes accordingly.

Yau said Hong Kong has yet to strike a travel bubble deal with other countries as the conditions were not met by both parties for executing the travel plan.

“We have received inquiries from other countries over setting up a travel bubble with Hong Kong, everything is underway but we really lack an exact timetable for implementing such arrangements,” stressed Yau.

In response to worries that the travel bubble tourists will bring along infected patients, Yau said they are working with Singapore to hook up the test results with air tickets, ensuring the tourists are virus-free.

He also encourages the arriving tourists to download and use the new application “LeaveHomeSafe” in Hong Kong, stressing the travel bubble arrangement will not undermine Hong Kong’s disease prevention measures.

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