Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble Initially Scheduled On 26 May Bursts Again
There has been much excitement amongst Singaporeans over the possibility of an air travel bubble with Hong Kong.
However, for the 2nd time, the travel bubble will be deferred.
This is due to the recent spike in the number of unlinked community cases in Singapore.
Following this, authorities will review the new launch date towards the end of our Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).
Air travel bubble bursts due to number of unlinked cases
The Ministry of Transport (MOT) announced on Monday (17 July) that the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble launch, initially planned for 26 May, will be deferred, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
In a meeting between Singapore’s Transport Minister S Iswaran and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, both sides agreed to the deferment.
This is to protect the health of travellers and the public in both cities as Singapore has been experiencing an increase in the number of unlinked community cases.
In April, Singapore and Hong Kong agreed that they would suspend the travel bubble if the 7-day moving average number of unlinked community cases goes above 5 for either city.
With Singapore’s unlinked community cases reaching an average of 5 as of 16 May, Singapore has failed to meet the safety criteria set.
Authorities to review launch after Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)
According to The Straits Times (ST), both Hong Kong and Singapore are still “strongly committed” to safely launch the air travel bubble.
The cities will keep a close eye on the public health situation.
They will then review the new launch date of the travel bubble towards the end of Singapore’s Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).
Affected passengers will be contacted
The Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble was initially suppose to launch back in Nov 2020.
It was later delayed after a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong.
Travellers who wish to continue on their journey can still do so on non-designated travel bubble flights, reported CNA.
But, this will mean that they will be subjected to existing border controls and health requirements in both cities.
This includes a 7-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) for Singaporeans returning from Hong Kong.
MOT says that affected passengers will be contacted by airlines.
A necessary move for everyone’s safety
It is disappointing that the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble has once again been deferred.
Nonetheless, it is a necessary move for the safety of everyone.
Hopefully, with tightened safety measures, the Covid-19 situation will improve and make air travel a possibility again one day.
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