Industry Insights

Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble deferred for two weeks due to rise in HK's Covid-19 cases!

Posted on 23/11/2020 by Paula Formantes


The launch of the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble will be deferred for two weeks, with the new launch date to be announced later, mentioned on November 21st.

The deferment came hours after the authorities in both cities agreed to proceed with the travel arrangement despite a spike in the number of infections in Hong Kong.

With the situation in Hong Kong, authorities will review and within two weeks, decide on the new launch date and update again.

The Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble which is the Republic’s first since border restrictions were imposed amid the coronavirus pandemic - was slated to launch on Sunday, November 22nd, with one flight into each city and each flight with a maximum capacity of 200 passengers.

Despite the disappointment and frustration of travelers who have planned their trips, it is better to defer from a public health standpoint.

With the Covid-19 virus is still with us, the fight to regain our normal lives will be full of ups and downs.

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

Hong Kong’s new unlinked cases reported on Saturday took the rolling seven-day average to 3.86.

Singapore Airlines said it supports the postponement decision as the health and safety of their customers remain their top priority.

Customers who no longer wish to travel due to the deferment of the air travel bubble may request a full refund of the unused portion of their ticket and have the cancellation fees waived.

Cathay Pacific was reported by Hong Kong media as saying that passengers can also opt for a refund or reschedule their flights at no cost.

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

Even with the suspension of the travel bubble, Singapore citizens, permanent residents or long-term pass holders can still return to Singapore from Hong Kong by non-bubble flights. But they will be subject to Singapore's quarantine arrangements such as the seven-day stay-home notice.

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