Hong Kong - Singapore travel bubble to begin May 26

  • HK residents will need to have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine at least two weeks before departure
  • The bubble will be suspended for two weeks if the daily average of untraceable coronavirus cases reaches more than five in either city

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After many delays, quarantine-free travel will launch between Hong Kong and Singapore starting May 26. Photo: EPA

A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore will finally allow for quarantine-free trips starting on May 26, both governments revealed on Monday.

Travellers from Hong Kong will need to have received their second coronavirus vaccine jab two weeks before departing for Singapore, though this will not be required for those going in the other direction.

An exemption to that requirement will be in place for those who are younger than 16, unsuitable for vaccination for medical reasons, or those using non-Hong Kong travel documents for departure.

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Anyone currently in Singapore and Hong Kong will be eligible to travel regardless of nationality.

Under the arrangement, there will be one daily flight in each direction carrying 200 passengers. The designated flights, which are not open to transit passengers, will be boosted to two per day from June 10 if the coronavirus situation remains stable.

Both sides have agreed the bubble will be suspended for two weeks if the daily average of untraceable Covid-19 cases in one week reaches more than five in either city.

Edward Yau Tang-wah, Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development, said the administration and its Singaporean counterparts had kept the coronavirus under control and that both sides had agreed to extra health precautions when launching the plan.

“Taking into account the latest situation, the emergence of a mutated strain and a longer incubation period, we see the need to build additional safeguards and are encouraging Hong Kong residents to receive two doses of the vaccine before they travel.”

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Apart from the inoculations for Hongkongers, travellers on both sides are required to do a virus test 72 hours before their departure, and they must be screened again when they arrive at the airport. Designated lanes will be set up at the Hong Kong airport for the post-arrival tests.

Hong Kong travellers to Singapore must submit an arrival card and book a post-arrival virus test at least three days before arriving. After taking the test at the airport, travellers will have to go to their declared place of accommodation by private transport, taxis or hired cars, and stay there until receiving their negative test result.

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