‘High chance’ that HK-Singapore travel bubble may be delayed due to rise in cases

The long-awaited travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore may see yet another delay. Photos via Unsplash/Swapnil Bapat (left) and Ruslan Bardash (right)
The long-awaited travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore may see yet another delay. Photos via Unsplash/Swapnil Bapat (left) and Ruslan Bardash (right)

Hong Kong’s travel bubble with Singapore may be postponed yet again amid the recent surge in local cases in the island nation.

“The Singapore minister has told me that there might be a high chance that the bubble arrangement may not be able to resume under the agreed mechanism,” Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said in a press conference Friday.

The update comes less than two weeks before the May 26 start date of the travel bubble.

Yau added that he has been in touch with Singapore’s Minister of Transport Ong Ye Kung, who said the Singapore government is taking  “additional measures” to curb the increase in infections there.

Singapore reported 24 locally transmitted cases Thursday, four of which are unlinked.

The two places earlier agreed that the plan would be suspended if either city sees an average of five or more unlinked cases in a seven-day period.

The country has also reimposed a two-person limit on gatherings and banned dining in at restaurants for a month.

As of Thursday, Hong Kong confirmed 59 new cases in the past two weeks, of which 8 are local cases.

The long-awaited travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was slated to begin last November. But the plans were halted when Hong Kong started seeing signs of a fourth virus wave.

The travel bubble, which celebrates both cities’ success in combating COVID-19, would have allowed up to 200 travelers to fly from Hong Kong to Singapore, and vice versa, without mandatory quarantine. 

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