Singapore and Hong Kong to review air travel bubble in late August


Both parties will remain in close contact and monitor the public health situation in both places before taking stock in late August. - The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE, July 20 (The Straits Times/ANN): The long-anticipated quarantine free travel corridor plan between Hong Kong and Singapore will not be taking off any time soon.

Singapore's Transport Minister S. Iswaran and Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau have jointly agreed to resume discussions on the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) only when the Covid-19 situation allows.

"Both parties will remain in close contact and monitor the public health situation in both places before taking stock in late August on the ATB," Singapore's Transport Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday (July 20).

This comes as Singapore tightened its Covid-19 measures from Thursday (July 22) to Aug 18, as the Republic goes back to phase two (heightened alert) to stem a recent spike in community cases.

Singapore saw a record high of 182 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases as at Tuesday afternoon, including 135 cases connected to the growing cluster linked to the Jurong Fishery Port.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong government said that, given the recent surge of cases in Singapore, the condition for launching the ATB "could not be met for the time being".

The spokesman also said both Hong Kong and Singapore have agreed that a review of the way forward could be conducted late next month, taking into account the effectiveness of the enhanced infection control measures implemented by Singapore and the global situation at that time.

The Hong Kong-Singapore travel scheme was slated to launch last November but was postponed to May after Hong Kong had a surge in cases.

It was derailed again when the number of coronavirus cases began to rise in Singapore, with the situation stabilising early last month, before the recent spike in cases.

Last week, Hong Kong legislators had urged the government to scrap the plan as Singapore shifts from a zero-infection strategy, which Hong Kong places great importance on.

They reasoned that having zero coronavirus cases is a requirement for the territory to reopen borders with the mainland.

Under Singapore’s transition from dealing with Covid-19 as a pandemic to managing it as endemic, its Government aims to fully inoculate two-thirds of its 5.7 million population by early next month.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV recently, Singapore's Health Minister Ong Ye Kung expressed optimism that the travel plan with Hong Kong would materialise.

"With very low Covid-19 case counts, or none at all on many days, the cities are well positioned to open their borders again," Mr Ong said.

"That gives us common ground to talk again about restarting the air travel bubble." - The Straits Times/ANN

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Singapore , Covid-19 , Hong Kong , Travel , Bubble , Late August

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Asean News Headlines at 10 pm on Tuesday (Sept 28)
Singapore crosses the 2,000 mark of Covid-19 cases for the first time as five seniors die from virus complications
Indonesian parliament approves govt's 2022 budget as Covid-19 number are much lower - 2,057 new cases reported
It's getting better for Thailand as daily coronavirus cases sink to lowest numbers since July
Philippines: 13,846 new Covid-19 cases as total surges to 2,522,965; Duterte approves the vaccination for all including children
Vietnam's daily new Covid-19 cases drop below 5,000, lowest numbers since July 20
Fewer marriages, births in Singapore last year due to pandemic; nuptial figures fall to lowest since 1986
Six killed in severe floods triggered by heavy rainfall in Thailand
Singapore to host centralised Suzuki Cup, South-East Asia's premier football tournament
Philippines and China to deepen cooperation on fighting transnational crime

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers