Hong Kong and Singapore have confirmed designated flights will begin on 26 May.
The Government of Hong Kong and Singapore moved for the gradual resumption of cross-border travel as it announced designated flights under the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) arrangement start on 26 May.
“The two governments have reached consensus on the latest arrangement and will put in place more stringent public health protocols in response to the latest epidemic development,” Commerce and Economic Development Secretary Edward Yau said.
“Our goal remains striking a right balance between public health and travel convenience so that the public will rest assured while maintaining certainty."
The Hong Kong government has been engaging in active discussion with Singapore as the fourth wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in the City gradually stabilised. Yau noted it will continue monitoring the COVID-19 situation in both territories to ensure the “smooth launch” of the travel bubble.
In light of this, the two governments will put in place the following stringent measures regarding:
1. Travel history prior to departure
In the original requirement, ATB travelers should have no travel history to any place other than Singapore or Hong Kong in the 14 days prior to departure. As new variants of the virus have emerged, a new requirement will be implemented with regards to the compulsory quarantine period. The respective compulsory quarantine periods in Hong Kong or Singapore arising from the travelers' last visit outside Hong Kong or Singapore would not count towards that 14-day period.
2. Mechanism to suspend or resume
The ATB would be suspended for two weeks if the seven-day moving average of the daily number of unlinked local COVID-19 cases (the 7DMA figure) is more than five for either Singapore or Hong Kong. In the initial arrangement, it can only resume if the 7DMA figure reported on the last day of the two-week suspension period for both places do not exceed five. A new requirement is introduced so that the ATB can resume only after fulfilling the original threshold and subsequently having three consecutive days with the daily number of unlinked local cases for both places not exceeding three, and the 7DMA figure on the third day for both places do not exceed five.
3. Enhanced contact tracing
The original requirement mandated travelers from Hong Kong to Singapore to download, register and use Singapore’s TraceTogether mobile application. A new measure will require travelers coming from Singapore to Hong Kong to download and use the LeaveHomeSage mobile application, and keep relevant records for 31 days after departure from Hong Kong.
Aside from this, Hong Kong residents travelling under the ATB can only take designated fights to Singapore at least 14 days after they had two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Hong Kong-Singapore ATB was initially agreed upon in November 2020, but was delayed due to the fourth wave of outbreak.
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