The Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble (ATB) will proceed as planned on Nov. 22, but with an additional precautionary safeguard, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced on Nov. 21.
This is after a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong which led to the governments of both countries being in "close contact" yesterday (Nov. 20) to discuss the situation.
Hong Kong is currently going through what officials have described as a "fourth wave" of cases.
PCR test on arrival
In light of the situation in Hong Kong, all passengers arriving from Hong Kong from Nov. 22 onwards will be required to take an on-arrival Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at Changi Airport.
This is because more cases are expected in Hong Kong over the next few days following the emergence of new clusters.
Both country's health authorities are in "close contact" and monitoring the situation.
The on-arrival PCR test costs S$196, but travellers arriving from Nov. 22 to Nov. 28 will not need to pay for it.
This is to give travellers time to adjust to this new change.
After the test, travellers must self-isolate at their place of residence, either a home (for Singapore Residents) or hotel while waiting for the test results, which will take around six to eight hours.
Travellers are to take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car from the airport to their declared place of accommodation.
Suspension of ATB if seven-day moving average is more than five
At the moment, all travellers under the ATB are already required to take a Covid-19 PCR test before departure. They will only be allowed to depart if their test result is negative.
According to CAAS, the ATB will be suspended for two weeks if the seven-day moving average of the daily number of unlinked COVID-19 cases is more than five in either Singapore or Hong Kong.
Currently, the average in Hong Kong is 2.14. The ATB will be suspended if there are more than 22 unlinked cases in Hong Kong over the next three days.
Suspension will then occur after a two-day notice period.
"Given the evolving Covid-19 situation, passengers travelling to Hong Kong are advised to stay vigilant, exercise precaution by avoiding crowded places and to adhere to Hong Kong’s prevailing public health measures at all times. They are advised to make contingency plans, because should the ATB be suspended, they may have to change their flights, and will have to undergo seven-day SHN upon return."
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Top photo from Sébastien Goldberg and chuttersnap on Unsplash