Tight restrictions on travel are needed to curb the spread of Covid-19. But the border controls and quarantine measures are having a severe impact on the economy and on people’s ability to live their lives to the full. The creation of a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore and the relaxing of quarantine restrictions for local people returning from the mainland are, therefore, welcome measures. Trips to and from Singapore without the need to spend time in quarantine will begin on November 22. At first, the number of people permitted to travel in each direction will be limited to 200 a day, on designated flights. They must take up to three tests at different stages of the trip. The arrangement will be suspended if the average number of untraceable cases in either city rises above five a week. It makes sense to proceed carefully, given the potential for travellers to spread the virus and spark a new surge in cases. But this first step to making foreign travel easier will lift the mood in both cities and give the hard-hit tourism sector a much-needed boost. Hong Kong, Singapore travel bubble to launch on November 22 Hong Kong residents returning from the mainland will no longer need to quarantine. This will provide long-awaited relief for those living across the border. Quotas on the number allowed to travel each day will cause some inconvenience. But it is necessary to take the relaxation step by step to ensure Covid-19 is kept under control. The easing of the border controls is only possible because cases in Hong Kong, Singapore and the mainland have been reduced to sufficiently low levels. The number of new cases each day in Hong Kong has been significantly lowered since the third wave peaked in July. But the city has not yet won its battle with the virus, as this week’s rise in cases and worrying new clusters have shown. Guangdong authorities have not been persuaded it is safe to drop their quarantine requirements for cross-border travel with the city. Hong Kong still has much work to do if the border is to be reopened. The failure to eradicate local cases of unknown origin continues to be a concern and the threat of a wider community outbreak remains. Hong Kong residents returning from Macau, Guangdong will be able to skip quarantine Loopholes in the city’s measures are being closed, including tightening up procedures for certain categories of people exempt from quarantine. Any further loopholes need to be identified and removed before they lead to transmissions of the virus. Meanwhile, all arrivals from outside China, except those using the Singapore travel bubble, must quarantine in hotels rather than at home. The relaxation of border controls whether as part of travel bubbles or arrangements with the mainland is needed to help the economy and bring life back to something approaching normal. But the danger has not passed. A cautious approach must be adopted to the easing of restrictions to ensure the virus is kept at bay.