Singapore and Hong Kong will launch “Journey Bubble” flights on November 22nd
A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-312 (ER) passenger aircraft lands at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Hong Kong on August 1, 2018.
S3studio | Getty Images News | Getty Images
SINGAPORE – Quarantine-free leisure travel between Hong Kong and Singapore will resume on November 22nd, according to a bilateral air travel bubble announced on Wednesday.
Under the new guidelines, passengers can travel between the two locations without having to isolate themselves upon arrival. Instead, they have to undergo a Covid-19 test and give a negative result within 72 hours of departure. All travelers arriving in Hong Kong are required to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival at the airport.
There are no restrictions on the purpose of travel and no need for a controlled itinerary or sponsorship. However, travelers are not allowed to have a travel history to a location outside of Hong Kong or Singapore within 14 days of departure.
Arrivals are subject to local Covid-19 restrictions in the respective markets, e.g. B. downloading a contact tracking app and wearing masks. All travelers infected with the virus will have to bear their own medical expenses.
The flights to each city are initially limited to one per day, with a maximum of 200 travelers per flight.
Unless the coronavirus situation worsens in both cities, flights are expected to increase to two per day to each city from December 7th. However, should the weekly average of confirmed cases exceed five a day on both sides, the bubble will be suspended for two weeks, said Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s Minister for Economic Development and Trade.
The designated bubble flights will only carry passengers traveling between Hong Kong and Singapore, and not those passing through either city, the announcement said.
Hong Kong and Singapore first announced plans for a bilateral travel bubble in mid-October as both cities attempt to repair some of the damage the coronavirus pandemic has done to their hard-hit tourism and aviation industries.
Without domestic air travel markets, the two Asian business centers are heavily dependent on international travel. Last year, Hong Kong received more than 453,000 visitors from Singapore, while Singapore received 489,000 visitors from Hong Kong, according to official city statistics.
While we may be starting small, this is an important step forward. I have no doubt that both Singapore and Hong Kong will work together fully to make this program work.
Ong Ye Kung |
Singapore’s Minister of Transport
The agreement will not bring the flights between the two locations to the pre-pandemic average of 18 per day. However, Singapore Minister of Transport Ong Ye Kung welcomed the deal as “the first of its kind” and said it could help resume international travel.
“With the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble, we can achieve two goals at the same time – open our borders in a controlled manner while ensuring security in our societies,” he said.
“While we may be starting small, this is an important step forward. I have no doubt that both Singapore and Hong Kong will work together fully to make this program work. It will be a useful reference for other countries and regions that are doing this System controlled. ” Epidemic and are considering opening their borders, “he added.
Both Singapore and Hong Kong voted early on in favor of introducing travel agreements with other countries that are considered to be low-risk.
For its part, Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to tourists from select countries, including Australia, Brunei, mainland China, Vietnam and New Zealand. Hong Kong is now said to have discussed similar agreements with 10 countries, including Japan and Thailand.
As of November 10, Singapore had a total of 58,073 confirmed coronavirus cases and 28 deaths. There were a total of 5,390 confirmed cases and 108 deaths in Hong Kong.
– CNBC’s Yen Nee Lee contributed to this report.