Hong Kong to form ‘travel bubble’ with Singapore - Asia Times
Hong Kong and Singapore have agreed in principle to form an “air travel bubble,” which will let people who have tested negative for coronavirus travel between the cities without being quarantined.The agreement was reached between Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, and Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s Transport Minister, in a videoconference on Wednesday. Travelers would have to take a Covid test recognised in each place before they could be exempted from quarantine, Yau said on Thursday. There would be no restriction on the purpose of the travel or itineraries but there were conditions. For example, “bubble” passengers would be required to take a designated flight and no transit passengers would be allowed on it, he said. The scheme could be adjusted or suspended at any time, depending on the epidemic situation in the two places, Yau said. The governments hoped the scheme could be launched within weeks.
“I am pleased that both sides have agreed on the key features to underpin the expeditious conclusion of the air travel bubble between two major international aviation hubs in the world,” Yau said. “This is a milestone in our efforts to resume normalcy while fighting against the long-drawn battle of Covid-19.”
Ong was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the Hong Kong government, “Both our cities have low incidence of Covid-19 cases and have put in place robust mechanisms to manage and control the virus. This has given us the confidence to mutually and progressively open our borders to each other.” “It is a safe, careful, but significant step forward to revive air travel, and provide a model for future collaboration with other parts of the world.”