Hong Kong–Singapore “Travel Bubble” May Begin in Late November

The two governments are finalizing details of a scheme that could be rolled out by the end of this month.

A tram passes through a street market in North Point, Hong Kong. (Photo: Chunyip Wong/iStock)

Singapore- and Hong Kong-based travelers may not have to wait much longer to satisfy their pent-up wanderlust. According to a CNBC report published earlier today, Hong Kong financial secretary Paul Chan said the administration was working hard with the Singaporean government to launch the much-anticipated travel bubble between the two cities “as soon as possible within November, and the earlier, the better.”

Chan also elaborated that Hong Kong is currently in talks with 10 other jurisdictions to open similar quarantine-free air corridors, and said discussions with Thailand and Japan had already reached an advanced stage. Both those countries are traditionally among the top leisure destinations for Hong Kong residents.

This comes on the heels of earlier comments from Hong Kong’s commerce secretary Edward Yau, who said he was optimistic that travelers could start flying to Singapore by the end of November. Yau added that travel agencies would likely begin selling tickets the middle of this month, and at least one designated quarantine-free flight a day would operate between the two cities during the initial period, with the possibility of adding more scheduled services in line with rising demand. The top official stressed that measures would be in place to suspend the travel arrangements if a surge of Covid-19 cases happens in either Singapore or Hong Kong.

In related news, the Hong Kong government is also negotiating with Chinese authorities to reopen its borders with neighboring Guangdong province. Mainland China is the territory’s largest market for tourist arrivals, and Chan said it was important to revive cross-border travel to speed up Hong Kong’s economic recovery.

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