Bubble blown again, Singapore to blame this time

The SAR government on Monday confirmed that Hong Kong’s “travel bubble” with Singapore won’t get off the ground on May 26 as planned.

The scheme was originally slated to be launched in November last year, but was deferred after Hong Kong suffered a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The pandemic situation in Singapore is being blamed for the latest postponement.

Under the “bubble” arrangement, travellers can avoid quarantine when they fly between the two cities as long as they comply with certain Covid test requirements.

SAR officials said in a statement that both governments remain “strongly committed” to launching the scheme “in a gradual and orderly manner”.

“The two governments will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation in both places, including the effectiveness of the enhanced anti-epidemic measures introduced by the Singapore government, which have taken effect from yesterday (May 16) and would last till June 13,” the statement said.

“During this period, both sides will continue to maintain communication, exchange relevant data and statistics, and review developments closely before deciding on the way forward.”

The Hong Kong government said a further announcement will be made on or before June 13.

It added that people who have already made bookings on designated flights could contact their airlines to adjust their itineraries.

Separately, the government announced that non-Hong Kong residents from Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Italy, the Netherlands, Argentina and Kenya will be barred from entry from Friday. Officials cited a “persistent unstable” pandemic situation overseas.

SAR residents arriving from these countries, meanwhile, will need to be quarantined at a hotel for 21 days, or 14 days if they are fully vaccinated.
Last updated: 2021-05-17 HKT 19:59