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Wednesday, Jun 23, 2021

Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble likely to be postponed

Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble likely to be postponed

A quarantine-free travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore is likely to be postponed, according to Secretary for Commerce, Edward Yau Tang-wah.
The commerce chief said Singapore's Ministry of Transport Ong Ye Kung had told him that the travel plan is unlikely to commence on May 26 as scheduled.

He said the government will review the decision with Singapore authorities early next week.

The travel bubble plan between the two cities was originally set to take off in November last year, but was delayed due to the fourth Covid wave in Hong Kong.

Last month, the government announced that the travel agreement was back on track, where travelers will be able to board designated flights to enjoy quarantine-free traveling on May 26.

Under the arrangement, one daily flight carrying 200 passengers will be allowed to travel in each direction. The frequency will be increased to two flights per day from each side beginning on June 10 if the coronavirus situation remains stable, although no transit passengers will be allowed.

Those traveling in the bubble will have to be tested negative before departure and after their arrival. As an added safety precaution, the Hong Kong government is only allowing fully vaccinated residents to make the trip, a rule Singapore has not imposed on its own travelers

However, the agreement is once again likely to be postponed due to Singapore’s Covid flare-ups.

Singapore’s health ministry on Thursday reported 24 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, the highest daily number since mid-September, with 17 of the fresh cases linked to a cluster at Changi Airport.

Following months of reporting few new local cases, infections in Singapore have been climbing, prompting authorities to tighten social distancing rules from last week.

As of Wednesday, the number of unlinked cases in the community increased to 12 in the past week from seven in the week before, according to a health ministry statement.

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