Singapore and Hong Kong have agreed in principle to allow citizens to travel to either city for holidays without the need to quarantine.
Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung confirmed to reporters today that the agreement would kick-start formal discussions on how both cities can implement a “travel bubble.” It is not clear when people can expect to travel to Hong Kong for fun, but Ong said travelers would not be required to submit itineraries ahead of departure but still need to undergo COVID-19 tests to prove they are free of infection before flying.
“Yesterday, I spoke to Commerce and Economic Development Secretary Mr Edward Yau, and he and I arrived [at an] in-principle agreement to set up such a travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong,” he said.
“Under the travel bubble, there are much less restrictions. No restrictions on the purpose of travels or segments of travelers so it’s unlike a green lane reciprocal arrangement where it is only confined to business travelers. Here, it’s for everyone and there will be no controlled itinerary as well,” he added.
Ong noted that both Hong Kong and Singapore have so far managed to reach low COVID-19 infection rates. Hong Kong and Singapore have recorded an average of fewer than 10 daily new cases in the past week.
“I think it’s a small significant step because both Hong Kong and Singapore are regional aviation hubs and for two of us to be able to control the epidemic and come together to discuss and establish this air travel bubble and hopefully this sets a model and a template to forge such relationships and partnerships,” he said.
This comes as Hong Kong last month announced plans to implement safe travel arrangements with 11 countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, and New Zealand. Singapore has so far allowed business-only travels to Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Brunei and New Zealand.