Singapore announces quarantine-free travel for HKers

Singapore said on Thursday that it will soon lift its quarantine requirement for travellers arriving from Hong Kong, as both governments agree to stop pursuing a travel bubble between the two sides.

From 11:59pm on Friday, August 20, Hong Kong visitors will be allowed to enter the garden city without the need for quarantine – regardless of their vaccination status.

“Singapore will unilaterally open to visitors from Hong Kong, which is in Category 1. Similar to visitors from other very low risk countries and regions like Mainland China (excluding Jiangsu province), New Zealand and Taiwan, visitors from Hong Kong will be allowed to enter Singapore with just an on-arrival PCR test,” said the city state’s Minister for Transport, S Iswaran.

Authorities there added that the updated rules will also apply to travellers from Macau.

The easing of travel restrictions come as both governments announced that they have decided to end talks on a travel bubble.

“All along, it was premised upon similar anti-epidemic strategies adopted by the two places, aiming to reduce local caseloads to a minimum,” said a Hong Kong government spokesman.

“With Singapore currently moving towards a new strategy of building a ‘Covid-resilient’ nation, the basic premises that underpin the Air Travel Bubble have changed.”

Singaporean officials earlier acknowledged that the country may continue to see a relatively high number of daily cases as it moves to ease curbs and let the virus become part of a “new normal”.

Singapore is currently categorised as a medium-risk location by Hong Kong, and fully-vaccinated arrivals will have to go through 14-days of compulsory quarantine at a designated hotel under tightened restrictions that will come into effect on Friday.

Both governments pledged to continue their dialogue on boosting connectivity between both places.