Thu, Oct 15, 2020 – 2:54 PM
SINGAPORE and Hong Kong have reached an in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral air travel bubble (ATB), where travellers will not be subject to any quarantine or stay-home notice requirements, or a controlled itinerary.
The in-principle agreement was reached during a videoconference on Oct 14 between Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung and Edward Yau, who is Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.
Mr Ong said that the agreement was made due to the low incidence of Covid-19 cases in Singapore and Hong Kong, along with “robust mechanisms to manage and control” the virus.
“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,” he added.
There will be no restrictions on travel purpose under the ATB, though travellers will be subject to mutually recognised Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction tests and would need to have negative test results.
Additionally, they will be required to travel on dedicated flights, such as flights that only serve ATB travellers specifically.
In line with the latest developments and Covid-19 situation in the two cities, the ATB can also be scaled up or down, or even suspended.
Both governments are aiming to achieve early implementation of the ATB, and will be fleshing out its full details in the coming weeks. The launch date of the Singapore-Hong Kong ATB, along with other implementation details, will be announced at a later date.
Mr Yau called the agreement a “milestone in efforts to resume normalcy” while fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added: “I have every confidence that the ATB arrangement can come to fruition very soon to facilitate resumption of air travel between our two economies.”