Spike in cases delays Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble

SG-HK travel_ST

SG-HK travel_ST

Besides India, a pre-flight COVID-19 negative certificate is mandatory for all passengers from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the USA, according to the Hong Kong government's rules.

Hong Kong announced Saturday a delay of at least two weeks to the air travel bubble as the city confirmed 43 new cases - including 13 cases that officials have not been able to trace.

Moreover, all worldwide passengers are required to undergo a post-flight COVID-19 test at the Hong Kong airport.

"A few passengers on a Delhi-Hong Kong flight of Air India earlier this week tested positive for COVID-19 post-arrival", the government official said.

"I can fully understand the disappointment and frustration of travellers who have planned their trips. But we think it is better to defer from a public health standpoint", Ong wrote. "But we will press on and look forward to when we can safely launch the (air travel bubble)", he added.

Hong Kong has experienced a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the last few days after weeks of steadily low cases loads.

An airline operating a flight to Hong Kong from these countries has to submit a form before departure, stating that all passengers onboard have COVID-19 negative certificates.

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Under the initial agreement, the air travel bubble was to be suspended if the number of untraceable local infections in either Singapore or Hong Kong exceeds five on a seven-day moving average.

"I should have travelled two weeks ago with home quarantine instead of waiting for this bubble flight", she lamented.

In a statement, SIA said it supported the postponement.

Cathay Pacific said passengers can opt to reschedule their flights at no cost.

Although the average of five had not been reached in Hong Kong, the bubble was suspended after Yau and Singapore's transport minister, Ong Ye Kung, held discussions on Saturday.

The "Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore announced that the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) will be launched as scheduled, with arriving passengers subject to an on-arrival test as a further precaution", Ong explained on Saturday.

Travellers between Singapore and Hong Kong will have to take Covid-19 tests, in lieu of serving quarantine or stay-home notices.

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