Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble to launch next month

Hong Kong’s skyline. Photo: Dan Freeman
Hong Kong’s skyline. Photo: Dan Freeman

Both like bubbles in their tea, so why not in their travel?

After six months of waiting, Singaporean aviation officials announced today that the Air Travel Bubble program’s quarantine-free travel will begin May 26 with a few extra steps for travelers –  such as downloading a tracking app – if coronavirus infection rates remain low in both cities. 

“Singapore and Hong Kong have agreed to set 26 May 2021 as the launch date of the Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB),” the aviation authority announced today. “Both parties will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation [..] and will proceed with the launch if the situation continues to be steady and remain under control in both cities.”

Travelers must remain in either city for 14 days prior to departure, not including days spent in quarantine, and must download each city’s contact tracing apps. Hong Kong is using the LeaveHomeSafe coronavirus tracking system while Singapore is using TraceTogether.

However, if the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases exceeds five, the program will be suspended until the situation improves.

Other requirements include testing negative no more than 72 hours prior to departure and again upon arrival. There will only be one flight per day for up to 200 passengers. This will go up to two flights a day on June 10.

Travelers will not be required to submit travel itineraries.

The travel bubble was originally meant to start in November but was suspended due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. Earlier this month, Hong Kong temporarily halted incoming Singapore Airlines flights from Singapore after one transit passenger tested positive.

Other stories you should check out:

Travel bubble plans with Hong Kong not blown up by COVID on SIA flight: transport minister
Fancy a holiday? Air travel between Singapore and Hong Kong to resume – very soon
Singaporeans, Hong Kongers can soon travel to each other’s cities for holiday

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