Singapore and Hong Kong announced on Monday 17th May that both the Asian cities will once again be postponing a travel bubble, as COVID-19 cases have surged in Singapore.
The latest bubble, which would have allowed quarantine-free travel between the two cities, was supposed to start on 26th May with the first flight being sold out.
According to the Ministry of Transport of Singapore:
- Singapore Minister for Transport, S Iswaran, had a meeting this morning with Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, Edward Yau, on the Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB). Given the evolving COVID-19 situation in Singapore, Mr Iswaran and Mr Yau agreed that the ATB flights originally planned for 26th May will be deferred.
- Both sides remain strongly committed to launching the ATB safely. However, in light of the recent increase in unlinked community cases, Singapore is unable to meet the criteria to start the Singapore-Hong Kong ATB. Both sides therefore have agreed to defer the launch of the ATB to protect the health of travellers and the public in these two places.
- Singapore and Hong Kong will closely monitor the public health situation in both places and review the new launch date of the ATB flights towards the end of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) in Singapore.
- Travellers may still continue their journey on non-designated ATB flights. However, such travellers will be subject to the prevailing border control and health requirements of both places. Singapore residents returning from Hong Kong will be subject to a 7-day Stay-Home Notice upon entry into Singapore.
- The airlines will be contacting affected passengers to render assistance. Passengers may also reach out to their airlines regarding their travel plans.
Both Hong Kong and Singapore officials will be monitoring the situation and reviewing any proposed new launch date, following the end of Singapore’s latest restrictions. Both cities have said that the air travel bubble will be suspended if the seven-day moving average of the unlinked community cases in either Singapore or Hong Kong increase is more than five.
This latest delay follows on from last year when the two cities had set up a travel bubble that was supposed to happen in November 2020. The travel bubble was burst after cases of COVID-19 rose in Hong Kong.
Do you think the travel bubble idea works at all?