S'pore-Hong Kong travel bubble burst as Covid-19 management 'strategies differ'

Both sides are committed to facilitate travels.

Zhangxin Zheng | August 19, 2021, 10:56 PM

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It's official.

The long-delayed travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong has been scrapped due to the differences in Covid-19 management strategies.

"Both sides are focused on keeping our populations safe and minimising the risk of imported cases," said Minister of Transport S Iswaran, "but our strategies differ, with Singapore now taking steps to becoming a Covid-19-resilient nation".

The travel bubble was discussed since last October and had faced several delays due to changing Covid-19 situations.

Still committed to facilitate travels

Iswaran said on Aug. 19 press conference that he had discussed with his Hong Kong counterpart, Edward Yau, and they have concluded that the air travel bubble will be not launched or sustained anymore in its present form.

Iswaran said that both sides are still committed to facilitating travels between Hong Kong and Singapore.

"We are both financial and aviation hubs with close economic and personal ties, and it's important to reestablish in general travel between Hong Kong and Singapore so that our people and businesses can reconnect," Iswaran said.

He added that Hong Kong had revised its overall border policies, which include a shorter quarantine period for vaccinated travellers from Singapore earlier this month.

Travellers from Hong Kong do not need to serve SHN

Iswaran also announced on Aug. 19 that Singapore will unilaterally open to travellers from Hong Kong and Macao.

Travellers from these regions need not undergo a Stay-Home Notice from Aug. 20, 2359 hours (Singapore time) as the regions are being classified under Category 1 after a review on countries/regions classification was made on border measures, according to the press release on the same day.

These travellers need to have spent the last 21 consecutive days in Hong Kong or Macao. However, they need not be fully vaccinated.

Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders will have to undergo a Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Singapore.

If the result is negative, they will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore.

Short-term visitors with travel history to Hong Kong or Macao in the last 21 consecutive days prior to their departure for Singapore can apply for an Air Travel Pass (ATP) for entry into Singapore on or after Aug. 26.

Short-term visitors will undergo a Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival at the airport and will be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore if their PCR test result is negative.

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Top image via Ruslan Bardash and chuttersnap on Unsplash.