Hong Kong–Singapore Travel Bubble to Launch on May 26

Several hundred passengers will get to fly quarantine-free on a daily basis between the two financial hubs.

Left to right: The Supertree Grove at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay; a neon-lit street in Hong Kong. (Photos: Hu Chen/Unsplash; Sean Foley/Unsplash)

At two simultaneous press conferences today, Singaporean Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung and Hong Kong’s commerce chief Edward Yau finally gave a definitive start date for the long-delayed Air Travel Bubble between the two cities. The quarantine-free corridor will be established on May 26, confirming the date supplied to Bloomberg by insider sources over the weekend. An announcement previously scheduled for last Thursday was shelved at the last minute for unspecified reasons.

Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines will take turns to operate one flight a day in each direction for the first two weeks of the arrangement, with a maximum of 200 passengers per leg. No transit passengers will be allowed on these quarantine-free services. Should the seven-day rolling average of unlinked local Covid-19 cases reach a threshold of five in either city, the bubble will be suspended for two weeks.

Hong Kong residents traveling to Singapore must be fully vaccinated, with a second dose received at least two weeks before the intended date of departure. However, several groups of people are exempt from the rule, including travelers under 16 years of age, those unable to take the vaccine for medical reasons (supported by a doctor’s certificate), and residents using non-Hong Kong travel documents for the trip. There will be no vaccination requirement for passengers flying in the other direction.

Hong Kongers bound for Singapore can apply for an Air Travel Pass between seven and 30 days before travel. A post-arrival PCR nucleic acid test has to be booked in advance, and fliers should fill in an online arrival card (in the case of Singapore) and a health declaration form (for Hong Kong) within 48 hours of departure. Travelers will only be able to leave Hong Kong airport upon receiving a negative test result, while those in Singapore can wait at their place of accommodation after taking a taxi or private transportation from Changi.

Visitors in Singapore will be required to use the TraceTogether app and keep it activated for another 14 days after returning from the Lion City. Similarly, travelers in Hong Kong must use the LeaveHomeSafe to scan the QR codes at restaurants and public places. The mobile app and its records should be retained for 31 days following the trip.

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