Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble will start from Nov 22

Those travelling will have to test negative for COVID-19 before departure and only 200 travellers are allowed per day for now.

Phoon Jia Hui

Jack of all trades, master of drinking boba milk tea.

Published: 11 November 2020, 11:39 AM

Those looking to travel to Hong Kong for leisure can soon do so!   

On Wednesday (Nov 11), the Ministry of Transport (MOT) announced the air travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong will start on Nov 22. 

There will be one flight a day for 200 travellers into Hong Kong and Singapore. This will be increased to two flights a day from Dec 7. 

“The Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble enables us to achieve two objectives at the same time – open up our borders in a controlled manner, while maintaining safety in our societies,” Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said. 

“While we may be starting small, this is an important step forward. I have no doubt both Singapore and Hong Kong will cooperate fully to make this scheme work.”

To be eligible for the air travel bubble, travellers must have remained in Singapore or Hong Kong in the last 14 consecutive days prior and must take dedicated flights. 

They will also need to test negative 72 hours before their scheduled departure date on mutually recognised COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. 

Unlike reciprocal green lanes, travellers under the bubble will have no restrictions on their travel purpose and will be exempt from quarantine or stay-home notice requirements.

How can one get tested then? 

For the Singapore to Hong Kong route, travellers will need two things: apply for approval to take the PCR test at least seven days before departure and a confirmed flight ticket to Hong Kong. 

Once they receive an approval via email, they can take the test at a recognised clinic or testing centre.

They will also have to take a COVID-19 test at Hong Kong International Airport upon arrival. 

Similarly, there will be recognised clinics in the city where travellers can do the PCR test for those on the Hong Kong to Singapore route.  

However, the bubble will be suspended for two weeks if the average number of daily unlinked cases over a seven-day period is more than five in either country. 

The arrangement will only resume if the number of cases drops below five on the last day of the suspension period.

While in either city, travellers must comply with prevailing health and safe distancing measures and that includes the wearing of masks and restrictions on group gatherings.

Should travellers become COVID-19 positive while in Singapore or Hong Kong, they will have to bear the full cost of any medical treatment, subject to prevailing medical and healthcare policies.

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