Hong Kong, Singapore agree on quarantine-free travel bubble

The travel bubble comes six months after its initial planned launch, which was delayed due to a resurgence of Covid-19 cases on both sides.

The delayed travel bubble comes six months after its initial planned launch due a resurgence of Covid-19 cases on both sides. Picture: Jason Goh from Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, April 26 (ANA) – Hong Kong and Singapore on Monday announced they would start their quarantine-free travel bubble on May 26, with one flight per day each way carrying a maximum of 200 travellers.

According to Singapore-based publication Straits Times, the travel bubble comes six months after its initial planned launch, which was delayed due to a resurgence of Covid-19 cases on both sides.

Rules for travelling require passengers to have a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours and to remain in Singapore or Hong Kong 14 days before departure. Travellers leaving Singapore need to install Hong Kong’s LeaveHomeSafe app on their mobile phone devices.

“We are setting the date one month from the announcement to get the industry and potential travellers ready, to consider their travelling plans,” Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said during a press conference.

“Secondly, Hong Kong wanted to get more residents vaccinated before they can travel.”

Ong said Hong Kong officials had put in place an additional requirement for outbound Hong Kong travellers to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Singapore has tightened restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19 cases imported from outside the country as mutated variants of the virus increase.

State-controlled broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported that Singapore announced the ban on entry to all non-residents travelling from India on April 22.

“The world is looking to restart its economy, restart business travel or leisure travel … and those concerns from mutated variants will have a direct impact on our ability to recover,” said Teo Yik Ying, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore.

On Monday, India recorded 352,991 new coronavirus cases, surpassing its own global record for a fifth straight day. It has to date recorded over 17.3 million Covid-19 cases.

– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa

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