This story was first published on April 14, 2021, and updated on August 20, 2021.
After months of unprecedented delay, it looks like a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore will no longer be established.
On Thursday (August 19), Transport Minister S. Iswaran said, “Both sides are focused on keeping our populations safe and minimising the risk of imported cases. But our strategies differ, with Singapore now taking steps to become a Covid-19-resilient nation. Against this backdrop, my Hong Kong counterpart, Secretary Edward Yau, and I have discussed and concluded that we will not be able to launch or sustain the air travel bubble in its present form.”
However, he added that Singapore and Hong Kong remain committed to facilitating travel between the two cities considering our existing close ties.
This is despite the fact that Hong Kong is tightening its border control measures as of August 20 with travellers who are vaccinated from Singapore and other places with a medium-risk of infection having to serve a 14-day quarantine. This is up from seven days.
Singapore on the other hand announced this week that visitors from Hong Kong and Macau will be able to enter the country with just one on-arrival Covid-19 swab test. They will then be allowed to roam freely should they test negative.
In a statement issued this week, the Hong Kong government reiterated that the two cities have different anti-epidemic strategies but that they remain committed to ensuring connectivity between the two places even without a current travel bubble.