Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble delayed again

Out-Law News | 24 May 2021 | 6:57 am | 1 min. read

The air travel bubble (ATB) between Singapore and Hong Kong will be delayed again due to a sudden rise of Covid-19 cases in Singapore.

According to a statement by Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT), the two sides have agreed to defer the launch of the ATB to protect the health of travellers and the public.

The statement said that the two areas will monitor the public health situation and review the new launch date of the ATB towards the end of phase two of Singapore's reopening.

Travellers are still allowed to travel on non-designated ATB flights, which means they will face stricter border control and health requirements in both places. Singapore residents returning from Hong Kong will be given a seven day Stay-Home Notice on entry into Singapore.

A Hong Kong government spokesman said that both cities will also monitor the effectiveness of stricter Covid-19 measures implemented in Singapore since 16 May, including a ban on dining out, will stay in place till 13 June.

Both sides will continue keep communication, exchange relevant data and statistics, and review developments closely during the period. A further announcement will be published on or before 13 June.

Mayumi Soh of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “The sudden spike in Covid-19 cases shows that the situation is very fluid and can change very rapidly.”

Singapore and Hong Kong originally reached an ATB agreement last November and designated flights were planned to start in the same month. The launch of the ATB was delayed in view of the epidemic situation in Hong Kong. The two reached a revised ATB agreement in April and planned to take off on 26 May.