Both Singapore and Hong Kong have been swift to control the Coronavirus disease since its detection at the beginning of 2020. Since then, borders are closed to tourists in Hong Kong but the two territories are set to bring life back to normal, with one flight per day in each direction from 26 May.
The airlines will cap each flight at 200 people for at least two weeks. The two governments will undertake reviews of plane capacity, the continuation of flights, and comparable COVID-19 cases in the second week of June.
Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung expressed his relief that Hong Kong has the Coronavirus disease under control. “It has been a long few months, but the conditions are now ripe again to re-launch the ATB (Air Travel Bubble). Both sides will need to stay vigilant in the next month so that we can launch the first flights smoothly.” It’s a significant collaboration between the two crucial financial and aviation hubs in Asia.
Travellers must follow conditions to ensure the safety and management of Coronavirus in both cities. Passengers that intend to fly must not have travelled to any other destination two weeks before departure. Each passenger must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of flying, both before departure and upon arrival, and use the Singapore app, TraceTogether, and the Hong Kong one, LeaveHomeSafe.
Travellers from Hong Kong must have received two vaccination doses 14 days before travel. ATB travellers will be free of any restriction to compulsory quarantine and travel itineraries upon compliance with requirements.
The Hong Kong and Singapore governments have reached a consensus on the new and positive travel bubble arrangements. They will put in place stringent public health controls in response to ongoing Coronavirus developments and note that the travel bubble will be suspended during two weeks in case the number of unlinked cases exceeds 5, in either Singapore or Hong Kong.
Mr. Yau said, “The re-launch of ATB (Air Travel Bubble) not only meets the aspirations of the people and business communities on cross-border travel, but also signifies that gradual resumption of cross-border travel is achievable through mutual collaborations among different places.”
The ATB arrangements have been in discussion since last November. It was planned to be launched in the same month; neither government considered the pandemic situation stable enough. Singapore and Hong Kong governments will carefully monitor the situation in the lead-up to the inaugural flight.
Keen travellers can keep up-to-date with the news on https://www.tourism.gov.hk/travel-bubble/en/index.html.
The official press-release from the Hong Kong government can be found at https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202104/26/P2021042600252p.htm.