Hong Kong - Singapore travel bubble put on hold, again

  • The city state has seen a sharp increase in untraceable Covid-19 cases, with 32 such infections reported in the last week
  • Previous plans for a quarantine-free travel bubble were suspended when Hong Kong experienced its fourth wave of coronavirus in November

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Plans for a Singapore - Hong Kong travel bubble have been put on hold once again. Photo: EPA

The travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong has been put on hold for a second time amid a sharp resurgence in untraceable Covid-19 cases in the city state, the two governments have said.

Monday’s decision to suspend the quarantine-free corridor, which had been set to launch on May 26, followed a morning meeting between Hong Kong commerce minister Edward Yau Tang-wah and Singapore transport minister S. Iswaran.

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A further announcement will be made on or before June 13, when Singapore’s current round of anti-pandemic measures are due to expire. The two cities will continue to exchange data and review developments, a Hong Kong government statement said.

A previous travel bubble was suspended on November 22 amid an outbreak from the Hong Kong side that accompanied the city’s fourth wave of infections.

Singapore has recently seen a sharp uptick in unlinked cases, with 32 such infections reported in the past week, including 17 on Sunday.

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Overall, the city state confirmed 38 new domestic Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the highest daily figure in more than a year.

Under the plan, the travel corridor is to be suspended for two weeks if the seven-day moving average of unlinked cases in either city exceeds five. That threshold could be reached today if Singapore records at least five.

When announcing plans for the second attempt at a bubble on April 26, authorities from both sides established stricter guidelines for the quarantine-free scheme.

Hong Kong requires its residents to be fully vaccinated, meaning 14 days have passed since receiving their second dose. Singapore has yet to introduce a vaccine requirement.

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