It looks like travel might be finally back on the books as the government announced today that the long-awaited Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble would finally launch on May 26 after its postponement last year. The bilateral agreement's initial flight was scheduled to commence last November 22 but postponed a day before the launch. The travel bubble will allow a quarantine-free air route between Hong Kong and Singapore, providing travellers test negative for Covid-19 72 hours before departure in both regions and another coronavirus test on arrival. The agreement allows people who are currently in Singapore and Hong Kong to travel between cities regardless of their nationality.
"The two governments have reached consensus on the latest arrangement and will put in place more stringent public health protocols in response to the latest epidemic development," states Edward Yau, secretary for commerce and economic development. "Our goal remains striking a right balance between public health and travel convenience so that the public will rest assured while maintaining certainty," he adds.
Hong Kong residents will need to be fully vaccinated if they want to travel to Singapore, but vaccinations are not required for Singaporeans before entering Hong Kong. According to the government, the vaccination prerequisite for Hong Kong residents is to protect their health when they travel. However, Hongkongers younger than 16 and unsuitable for inoculation, as well as non-Hong Kong documents holders, will be exempted from the mandated vaccination. Travellers between the two cities will need to download the TraceTogether mobile app when in Singapore and the LeaveHomeSafe app when in Hong Kong.
The quarantine-free travel bubble will see one daily flight carrying 200 passengers in each city. This agreement will be adjusted to two flights per day from June 10 if the Covid-19 situation remains stable in both places. If the situation remains volatile and the daily average of untraceable coronavirus cases in one week reaches more than five in either city, both governments will suspend the air-travel bubble for two weeks.
Designated flights listed for the travel bubble and other detailed regulation will be announced at the dedicated government site that will go live later today. Meanwhile, if you're looking forward to your trip to the Lion City, don't forget to check out the local's guide to the best places to eat, drink, and shop in Singapore.