End to travel bubble plans ‘understandable’

The head of the Hong Kong-Singapore Business Association, Philip Chan, said on Friday that it was “understandable” for the two governments to scrap plans for a travel bubble, given their different strategies in handling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hong Kong maintains a zero-Covid target and has recently increased quarantine periods for vaccinated travellers.

But Singaporean officials have acknowledged that Singapore may continue to see a relatively high number of daily cases as the virus becomes part of a “new normal”. The city-state will allow anyone arriving from the SAR to skip quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status, from Saturday midnight.

Chan welcomed Singapore’s move, but said Hong Kong’s decision to increase quarantine from seven to 14 days for the vaccinated had caught travellers by surprise.

He said some travellers may not be able to extend their quarantine stays, because places in designated hotels are in short supply, adding that he may also delay or cancel his own return to Hong Kong next month.