Ong Ye Kung: 'Very likely' that S'pore will not meet resumption criteria for S'pore-HK ATB by May 26

A decision will be announced early next week regarding the air travel bubble, the minister said.

Julia Yeo | May 14, 2021, 02:00 PM

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The Singapore-Hong Kong air travel "bubble" (ATB) is at risk of being delayed further from May 26 due to the recent spike in Covid-19 infections in Singapore.

Covid-19 numbers will be "closely monitored" for next few days

The Singapore-Hong Kong ATB is scheduled to launch on May 26, if resumption conditions are met.

However, a recent spike in cases in Singapore may have hampered plans, with a growing Covid-19 cluster at Changi Airport and the discovery of a hospital cluster earlier last month.

In response to a question from a reporter during the Multi-ministry Task Force (MTF) press conference on May 14, Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung said that there will be a "critical review" of the situation, and the numbers will be "closely monitored" for the next few days.

Ong mentioned that he had spoken to Hong Kong's secretary for commerce and economic development Edward Yau Tang Wah on Friday morning (May 14) and briefed him on the current situation.

"Very likely" that Singapore will not meet resumption criteria

"We both agreed that we are strongly committed to this ATB between the two international cities...but at the same time, we have to start it safely, and that we must respect the resumption mechanism that both sides have agreed on," Ong said.

"It is very likely that Singapore will not be able to meet the resumption criteria."

He added that a decision will be announced early next week regarding the ATB.

Yau similarly predicted that the ATB between Singapore and Hong Kong may be delayed further than May 26, reported SCMP.

"We must plan for the best arrangements to resume travel, we should take absolute precautions and make early announcements," he said.

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