The Singapore – Hong Kong Travel Bubble first planned to begin last year has now been formally scrapped by the two governments.
Main picture Pasir Ris Park, Singapore credit Cattan2011 on flickr
The travel bubble, allowing fully vaccinated travellers to visit each country, was first scheduled to begin on 22nd November 2020, however it was delayed at the very last minute following an increase in cases in Hong Kong.
Following months of delay the countries finally announced a new date for the start of the bubble, 26th May. However on 17th May, amid increasing Covid cases in Singapore, the plans were delayed again. Flights had booked up quickly in anticipation for the start of the bubble.
However differing strategies between the two nations has resulted in the permanent cancellation of the plans.
“In Singapore, a substantial proportion of our population is fully vaccinated. Hong Kong too is progressively vaccinating its population. Both sides are focused on keeping our populations safe and preventing the risk of imported cases.
But our strategies differ, with Singapore now taking steps towards becoming a Covid-resilient nation. Against this backdrop, both parties agreed that it would not be possible to launch or sustain the ATB in its present form.”Singapore Ministry of Transport
Both Singapore and Hong Kong are important transport hubs in Asia and bot parties are still looking for opportunities to encourage travel. Last week Singapore announced that travellers from Hong Kong would be able to visit without the need to quarantine, as long as they test negative on arrival.
Hong Kong however has much stricter entry conditions for those from Singapore, who need to be fully vaccinated and complete a full 14 day quarantine on arrival.
The travel bubble was originally designed to ensure that entry conditions were the same in both directions.
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