Hong Kong-Singapore to review travel bubble target date in July

Local | 10 Jun 2021 5:08 pm

Hong Kong and Singapore authorities said today that it will review and announce in early July the target date of inaugural flights under the Air Travel Bubble, instead of making the announcement on June 13.

The quarantine-free travel plan between Hong Kong and Singapore had been postponed for a second time earlier after a spike in cases in Singapore, with authorities saying a further announcement will be made on or before June 13.

A SAR Government spokesman said today that the two governments have been closely monitoring the epidemic situation in both places.

The COVID-19 situation in Singapore has stabilised in recent weeks, its government said in a statement, noting that the number of community cases and local unlinked COVID-19 cases were showing a downward trend. It also said the situation in Hong Kong remained stable.

“The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Edward Yau Teng-wah, has been in regular dialogue with the Minister for Transport of the Republic of Singapore, S. Iswaran. Both consider that it is prudent to keep the developments under review to ensure the epidemic situation is sufficiently stable before deciding in early July on the way forward for the plan,” said the spokesman.

The bubble was initially slated to begin in November last year but was called off after a rise in cases in Hong Kong. Under the plan, travelers would have to test negative for COVID-19 before departure and on arrival to move freely between the cities.

Hong Kong and Singapore have been largely successful in keeping the virus at bay over the past year with strict border controls and effective tracing of infections but new cases in Singapore last month have popped hopes for the bubble.

The travel bubble was due to start with one flight a day into each city, with up to 200 travelers on each flight.

Officials had said that if the seven-day moving average of the daily number of unlinked local COVID-19 cases was more than five for either Singapore or Hong Kong, the scheme would be suspended.

For Hong Kong, which has banned non-residents coming to the city since March last year, the deal with Singapore would have been its first travel link with another city.

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