Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble Postponed By 2 Weeks After Further Discussions
UPDATE (21 Nov 5.15pm): Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung announced via a Facebook post that the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) arrangement with Hong Kong will be deferred by 2 weeks.
Both governments will review the situation within this period and provide an update at a later time. Affected travellers will be contacted by the airlines. Hong Kong reported 43 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday (21 Nov) of which 13 are unlinked.
Hong Kong has recently seen a 4th wave of Covid-19 cases, putting into question the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) arrangement with Singapore that’s expected to start on Sunday (22 Nov).
On Saturday (21 Nov) morning, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced that the ATB will commence as per usual on 22 Nov.
However, all passengers arriving in Singapore will have to undergo an additional Covid-19 test.
Hong Kong travellers to Singapore have to undergo extra test
According to CAAS’ media release, travellers from Hong Kong would have to undergo an extra Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test at Changi Airport.
Travellers would then have to board private transport to their declared place of accommodation where they’d have to self-isolate while awaiting their results.
This will reportedly take between 6-8 hours.
The cost of the test, which amounts to $196 per traveller, would be waived during the period of adjustment from 22-28 Nov.
In addition to the test at Changi Airport, travellers from Hong Kong would also have to take a pre-departure test.
ATB will be suspended if 7-day average of unlinked cases exceeds 5
Hong Kong is currently in the midst of its 4th wave of Covid-19 cases, with 26 new ones reported on Friday (20 Nov) of which 9 are unlinked.
CAAS says in the media release that more cases are expected in Hong Kong over the next few days as a result of new clusters.
The ATB arrangement between both territories will be suspended if the 7-day average of unlinked cases exceeds 5 per day.
For this ‘threshold’ to be met, Hong Kong would have to report 22 unlinked cases over the next 3 days, following which a 2-day notice period will be observed, followed by the suspension.
Hong Kong’s 7-day average of unlinked cases currently stands at 2.14.
Hoep Covid-19 situation in Hong Kong improves soon
Though some may question the decision to continue with the ATB arrangement, we trust that the precautions in place are sufficient to prevent any surge in cases here in Singapore.
That said, we hope the Covid-19 situation in Hong Kong shows sign of improving soon so we can go about the ATB with less anxiety.
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Featured image adapted from Facebook.