The two Asian countries have created a travel pact which aims to ease travel restrictions for residents of both nations and visiting foreigners. Governments of both countries claim to have created the “world’s first” reciprocal travel bubble.
Under this initiative, travelers would only need to present a negative Covid-19 test result to be allowed to travel freely on dedicated flights, announced Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung and Hong Kong’s Commerce Secretary Edward Yau. The launch date and further details on the initiative’s implementation are yet to be announced.
“It is a careful but significant step forward to revive air travel,” Singapore’s Mr Ong said. “It could provide a model for future collaboration with other parts of the world.”
Hong Kong banned all non-residents from entering its borders in March; residents of mainland China and Macau also had to quarantine themselves upon arrival. More than 5,213 infections and 105 deaths have been reported so far.
The pact with Singapore is Hong Kong’s first attempt at creating a travel bubble as Covid-19 cases start to fall. Singapore, however, has gone one step further. It is easing restrictions for essential business and official travel for a list of countries including China, Japan and South Korea. The country closed its borders in March, and as of this week, had more than 57,000 confirmed cases and 28 deaths.
This is a milestone in our efforts to resume normalcy while fighting against Covid-19Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s Transport Minister
Australia and New Zealand have agreed on plans for a similar travel bubble. The arrangement, however, is not reciprocal. Quarantine-free travel is at this point only allowed for those traveling to Australia from New Zealand and not visa versa.