The governments of Hong Long and Singapore have come to an agreement so people from the two cities can travel without the need of quarantine. The travel bubble was planned since long and was expected to begin in November 2020, but due to sudden spike in the COVID infections in Hong Kong, the plan was delayed. If things go as planned, this will become the second major air route in the region after New Zealand and Australia had resumed flights in the previous week.
The upcoming development is expected to bring improvement in the tourism sector in Hong Kong as well as Singapore. Singapore’s transport minister Ong Ye Kung, expressed that he is happy that Hong Kong has been able to bring the COVID situation under control. The minister added that it took a few months to recover, but the current conditions are perfect to re-launch the ATB also known as the Air Travel Bubble. To begin with, the authorities will begin with just one flight in a day in every direction and will be carrying a maximum of 200 passengers in a day for the first few weeks.
The current plan is a very careful move when compared to the flights that were resumed between New Zealand and Australia where hundreds of flights were opened in a week. For the ATB, the passengers boarding from Hong Kong will have to be vaccinated and the passengers from both the sides need to take a test within three days of their departure and again on their arrival.
As a safety measure, the bubble will be taken back and for nearly two weeks if the community cases in Hong Kong or Singapore increases to more than five. The passengers will also have to download the contact tracing app of both the cities before they depart. Edward Yau, the Secretary of commerce at Hong Kong said that their aim is to strike a balance between the convenience of travel and public health.
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