Travel bubbles have to take safest route
- As Hong Kong and Singapore look towards restoring free movement between each other, it is essential that all measures are taken to ensure Covid-19 can be kept at bay
Details are still being worked out, but if deliberations go smoothly, people may be able to move freely between the cities in a matter of weeks. The bilateral arrangement will be, in effect, a pilot scheme to help life return to normal; it has to be wisely negotiated so that it can serve as a model for other such pacts.
Singapore is among 11 countries the government has been talking to with an eye on enabling travel without the need for quarantine. That restriction, usually involving 14 days of enforced or self-imposed isolation on arrival, has hit Hong Kong’s economy hard by severely impacting business and tourism. But the decision cannot be taken lightly; people should only be able to move freely across borders when there is certainty that Covid-19 can be kept at bay.
Hong Kong, Singapore reach agreement in principle on travel bubble
Residents eager to break the monotony of being confined to Hong Kong should not expect otherwise; much remains unknown about Covid-19 and premature relaxation can result in fresh outbreaks, as France and Germany are finding as they experience a second wave. While travel to the rest of China and overseas is necessary to get Hong Kong literally moving again, it has to be done with utmost care. Singapore will hopefully represent a first such step and an important testing ground.