S'pore, HK to launch air travel bubble

Singapore has announced its first two-way air travel bubble with Hong Kong, paving the way for leisure and other forms of travel between both places.

This means that people will be able to travel between the two locations without the need to be quarantined, subject to conditions including testing negative for Covid-19. Details are still being worked out, but people could be travelling between both places in several weeks.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday called the move a small but significant step for the two aviation hubs, adding that the agreement sets the model for more partnerships to come to revive air travel. Noting that both countries posed a low risk of Covid-19 transmission, he said the risk of a Hong Kong traveller bringing the virus in to Singapore was not very different from that of a resident in Jurong.

Under the agreement, travellers will likely be tested before they depart. There will be no restrictions on segments of the population, itinerary or purpose of travel.

Hong Kong is the 10th place that Singapore has made special travel arrangements with under the landmark agreement.

There are different types of agreements. The first is a unilateral opening - a standing invitation from Singapore to countries that have comprehensive public health surveillance systems and have successfully controlled the spread of Covid-19. Countries in this group are New Zealand, Brunei, Australia - excluding Victoria state - and Vietnam. Visitors have to apply for the Air Travel Pass that allows all forms of short-term travel, including leisure travel.

The second tier, bilateral green lane arrangements, are for essential business and official travel.

The Straits Times


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