Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

S'pore-HK air travel bubble deferred for two weeks due to rise in HK's Covid-19 cases: Ong Ye Kung

SINGAPORE – The launch of the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble will be deferred for two weeks, with the new launch date to be announced at a later date, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Saturday (Nov 21).

In a Facebook post, Mr Ong said that he and Hong Kong secretary Edward Yau had discussed the travel bubble given the evolving situation in Hong Kong, and decided it would be better to defer the launch.

“We will review within two weeks on the new launch date and update again,” he wrote.

“I can fully understand the disappointment and frustration of travellers who have planned their trips. But we think it is better to defer from a public health standpoint,” Mr Ong said, adding that the airlines will be contacting affected passengers.

“This is a sober reminder that the Covid-19 virus is still with us, and even as we fight to regain our normal lives, the journey will be full of ups and downs. But we will press on and look forward to when we can safely launch the (air travel bubble),” he said.

Hong Kong health authorities reported 43 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, 13 of which were unlinked.

Under the agreement terms, travel 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 of Hong Kong.

A two-day notice period will apply before the travel bubble is suspended.

Earlier on Saturday, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung had said that the air travel bubble would begin on Sunday, but there was a “high chance” that it would be suspended given the rising cases in Hong Kong.

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Singapore has also announced that visitors arriving from Hong Kong will be required to take a Covid-19 test upon arrival.

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