On May 26, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Singapore will begin designated flights under their bilateral air travel bubble (ATB). The bubble was planned for last November but was postponed due to a surge in Covid-19 infections.
“With gradual stabilization of the fourth wave of the epidemic in Hong Kong, we have been engaging in active discussions with Singapore on the relaunch of the ATB,” says Edward Yau, secretary of commerce and economic development of Hong Kong. “The two governments have reached consensus on the latest arrangement and will put in place more stringent public health protocols in response to the latest epidemic development. Our goal remains striking a right balance between public health and travel convenience so that the public will rest assured while maintaining certainty.”
The two governments will impose more stringent laws following the original arrangement.
- ATB travelers should have no history traveling to places other than Singapore or Hong Kong 14 days prior to departure.
- The ATB will be suspended for two weeks if the seven-day average (7DA) of unrelated Covid cases exceed five.
- Travelers departing from Singapore to Hong Kong are required to use Hong Kong’s LeaveHomeSafe application, and relevant records must be retained for 31 days after departing Hong Kong.
As encouragement to Hong Kong citizens to get vaccinated, those traveling under the ATB can only take designated flights to Singapore at least 14 days after having two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. ATB travelers must have tested negative for Covid both before departure and upon arrival. With compliance with these requirements, travelers will be free from any further travel restrictions and quarantining.
“Relaunching the air travel bubble with Singapore is the first step in Hong Kong’s resumption of international travel and a milestone for preparing the city for gradually welcoming more visitors back. We expect that travelers at the early stage of the launch of the ATB are those who travel for family visits or other essential reasons, and leisure travelers will return successively,” says YK Pant, chairman of Hong Kong Tourism Board.