Singapore and Hong Kong agrees in principle for bi-lateral air-travel bubble

According to a recent CNA News report, Singapore and Hong Kong have reached an in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral air travel bubble, which will exempt travelers from quarantines or stay-home notices.

According to the Transport Ministry, those travelling under the bubble will have no restrictions on their travel purpose and will not need to have a controlled itinerary. Travelers will also not be subject to any quarantine or stay-home notice requirements. However all travelers will need to test negative on mutually recognized COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and to fly on flights dedicated for those traveling under the bubble.

According the Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, both the cities have low incidence of Covid19 cases and have in place robust mechanism to manage and control the pandemic which gives both countries the confidence to open the borders to each other. However the air travel bubble can be “scaled by adjusting the number of dedicated flights upwards or downwards, or even suspended, in line with the latest developments and COVID-19 situation in the two cities”. 

“It is significant that our two regional aviation hubs have decided to collaborate to establish an air travel bubble. It is a safe, careful but significant step forward to revive air travel, and provide a model for future collaboration with other parts of the world,” he added. 

MOT said that “with a view to achieving early implementation”, both Singapore and Hong Kong are “committed to fleshing out the full details” of the air travel bubble “in the coming weeks” with the launch date and other implementation details to be announced in due time.

“While we should establish (air travel bubbles) only with safe countries and regions, we can further manage risks by setting a quota on the number of travelers per day and ensuring that everyone abides by COVID-19 test protocols,” the minister had said. “We also require travelers to apply for an air travel pass before their journeys, to allow us to plan for their arrivals, and throttle down the numbers, reduce the quota, if the epidemic situation changes.”

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