Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble to Begin on November 22
The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has announced that the air travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong will launch on November 22. There will be one flight a day per city with a quota of 200 travellers.
This will be increased to two flights a day from December 7.
It was previously announced that there will be no restrictions on the purpose of travel, and travellers will also be able to roam freely in both destinations, with no need to provide a predetermined itinerary. The air travel bubble agreement also means that visitors between the two cities would not need to go through quarantine or stay-at-home procedures.
However, travellers will be required to produce a negative result from a Covid-19 testing facility recognised by both regions ahead of any travel plans.
MOT added that anyone who has remained in Singapore or Hong Kong in the last 14 consecutive days prior to travelling will be permitted into either city. Work permit or S Pass holders within the construction, marine shipyard or process sectors are excluded, said the ministry.
Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau has said that the agreement means that visitors between the two cities would not need to go through quarantine or stay-at-home procedures, but that travellers will be required to produce a negative result from a Covid-19 testing facility recognised by both regions ahead of any travel plans.
When the arrangement was first announced, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung called it “a small step but a significant one”.
There is a possibility for the air travel bubble to be suspended should the seven-day moving average of daily number of unlinked Covid-19 cases increases to more than five in either city, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said in a press statement. MOT said it will only resume if this average on the last day of the suspension period is five or fewer.
What travellers need to take note of
Travellers will need to test negative on a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before the scheduled departure time.
Those departing from Singapore will be required to apply for approval to take their PCR test at least seven days before departure, and will need a confirmed flight ticket to Hong Kong to do so, MOT said.
They will also take a Covid-19 test upon arrival at Hong Kong International Airport and remain there until the results are out. But there is no such requirement for travellers from Hong Kong coming here.
Hong Kong travellers will need to apply for an air travel pass in order to visit Singapore, and must download and register for the TraceTogether application on their mobile phones. The application must remain activated during their entire stay in Singapore and keep it on their phones for 14 consecutive days after leaving.
MOT added that travellers who contract the coronavirus while in Singapore or Hong Kong will need to bear the full cost of any medical treatment, subject to prevailing medical and healthcare policies.
Lifting of more travel restrictions
Thus far, Singapore has unilaterally opened its borders to travellers from countries such as Brunei, New Zealand, Vietnam and Australia. Visitors are required to apply for the Air Travel Pass that permits any form of short-term travel.
The authorities announced on October 29 that visitors from mainland China and Australia’s Victoria state will be allowed to enter Singapore as of November 6.
Japan also announced that it will remove a ban on overseas travel to 12 other countries, including Singapore, in November.
(Related: Japan To Remove Travel Ban to 12 Countries, Including Singapore, in November 2020)