Latest news and updates about an air travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore. Hong Kong and Singapore agreed in principle to form a travel bubble late last year but it was postponed when Hong Kong was hit with a fourth wave of coronavirus infections. Talks have been revived with inoculation campaigns under way in both places.
As increasing numbers of international citizens and businesspeople ditch Hong Kong over its pandemic handling and head for Singapore, more needs to be done to win the virus fight and stop the exodus of talent.
Even mainland China and Macau are shunning visitors from Hong Kong because of the low take-up rate for Covid-19 vaccines
Hong Kong’s travel bubble with Singapore is likely to be postponed for a second time, a reminder that the opening up of the economy and return to life as it was before Covid-19 requires greater civic-mindedness.
What is important now is that all of us, wherever we are, do not let our guard down if we wish to return to some form of normal life
Terminal 4 is to reopen in September, while departures in the southern wing of Terminal 2 will restart in October, to cope with the influx of passengers as the northern hemisphere winter seasons gets under way.
Hong Kong landlords will watch retail rents drop this year, while those in the Lion City will enjoy a modest increase as it lifts Covid-19 restrictions and welcomes vaccinated visitors without quarantine.
The number of Hong Kong companies looking to hire offshore workers has risen following an outflow of expats leaving for Singapore, which scrapped its Covid-19 restrictions last month, and elsewhere.
Some 1,790 foreigners arrived in Singapore from Hong Kong in February – a far cry from pre-pandemic days – but the first time the figure crossed four digits since April 2020.
Flight bans are forcing people to take detours to return to Hong Kong. Of late, online communities trading travel tips have faced toxic criticism over the choice of Singapore as a pitstop.
Neither patient interacted with the community and no evidence of community transmission, health ministry says.
At a global health conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Singapore Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the city state still hoped that the twice-foiled travel bubble could launch ‘at some point’.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan says Hongkongers have expectation of government to keep city Covid-19 free, and approach of other places is not compatible with goal of ‘zero infections’.
Contrasting tactics for dealing with the coronavirus crisis were the downfall of plans for bilateral quarantine-free travel, Hong Kong government says.
The new rule applies to short-term travellers from Hong Kong and Macau starting next Thursday.
At a ceremony, commerce minister Edward Yau Tang-wah called the inaugural voyage ‘a step forward in bringing back normality’.
The travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore has never been established while an agreement between Australia and New Zealand has been stop-start.
Quarantine-free arrangement has been postponed twice as both sides have experienced outbreaks.
Hong Kong legislators raising concerns about Singaporean ministers advocating ‘living with Covid’ ignore the city state’s high vaccination rate and strong social distancing measures.
The drawn-out timeline, due in part to low rates of vaccination in some countries and the fast-spreading Delta variant, are unwelcome signs for fuel refiners.
Spikes in virus cases twice delayed the much-awaited travel corridor but the recent hold-up is over stumbling blocks.
Legislators point to city state’s suggestion Covid-19 will never disappear entirely and Singapore will have to ‘live’ with it as reason to ditch scheme.
While city state points to lack of data about vaccine’s worth against new variants, Hong Kong authorities have defended the Chinese-produced jabs.
Singapore has laid out new vision for return to normal as vaccination rate there climbs, but Hong Kong must look into whether that plan ‘will have any impact’ on long-awaited travel bubble, city leader Carrie Lam says.
Centre for Health Protection says genetic sequencing of virus sample from part-time cleaner was the same as that taken from arrival from Indonesia.
The island nation’s health minister Ong Ye Kung says the twice-postponed initiative will now go by a new name, with both economies ‘in a good position’ to look at it again.
The comparison offers a crucial peek into the practicality of each city’s readiness to resume travelling, as increasing vaccination and a slowing in the spread of the coronavirus outbreak triggered discussions to reopen borders.
The kingdom aims to allow quarantine-free travel to the island from July 1, provided visitors are vaccinated and aren’t coming from high-risk nations.
Arrangement has already been postponed twice due to outbreaks on either side.
Case numbers may be a positive sign for the travel bubble with Hong Kong, but unlinked infections and the dominance of the delta variant first reported in India are reasons to be cautious.