A surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong has led to the delay of the launch of a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore. The air corridor that was set to facilitate quarantine-free travel between both the destinations has been postponed for two weeks.
Major setback for travel and tourism
A delay in the travel-bubble is being seen as a major setback for both the destinations as they continue to try and boost their tourism and travel sectors. Hong Kong reported 43 new infections on Saturday which is the highest daily toll in the last three months. Of these 43 new infections, 13 have unknown transmission sources causing concerns that the local outbreak may spiral out of control.
Speaking of the new decision, Hong Kong commerce secretary, Edward Yau, said: “This decision is a responsible decision. For any scheme to be successful, it must fulfil the conditions of securing public health and also making sure that both sides are comfortable and feel safe about the scheme.”
What is the travel bubble arrangement?
Once the travel bubble is set up, travellers would be required to take a Covid-19 test before departure and upon arrival. There will be no restrictions on the purpose of travel but all passengers will have to take designated flights, and a maximum of 200 people would be allowed to travel each way per day.
The Hong Kong Tourist Board released a statement saying: “The Hong Kong Tourist Board supports the air travel bubble taking visitors’ and the public’s safety as a top priority. Under the new normal of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is inevitable that the pandemic situation fluctuates. It is a must for all of us to stay prudent in coping with the situation. The board hopes the pandemic situation in Hong Kong will soon stabilise and we look forward to welcoming visitors back when the time is right.”