Hong Kong and Singapore reach two-way “travel bubble” agreement

Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

Hong Kong announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement in principle with the Singaporean government to implement a bilateral “travel bubble” arrangement to allow people from the two locations to travel between without restrictions. People from the two places must have a negative Covid-19 test result with the check done in 72 hours prior to departure. Travelers are free to move without quarantine upon arrival.

Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development, expects to continue working on the mutual recognition of test results in the coming weeks, and hopes to implement relevant policies formally after the work is completed.

Edward Yau pointed out that the list of authorized testing institutions approved by both authorities’ health departments will be published later, and passengers will have to bear the relevant test costs. As for airlines, they should ensure that there are only passengers meeting “travel bubble” requirement in the aircraft besides the crew members, and no other transferring passengers are allowed. The “travel bubble” arrangement can be adjusted at any time according to the epidemic situation in the two places.

Edward Yau marked the agreement as an important milestone in travel policy since the outbreak of the epidemic. Singapore is the first country to reach a travel bubble agreement with Hongkong because they have similar policy premises.

Hongkong government has been in discussion with 11 countries about “travel bubble” and the agreement will finalize only with the consent of both sides and is determined by the epidemic situation. The government said earlier that the 11 countries include Singapore, Germany, France, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand.

Cathay Pacific, the largest airline in Hongkong, benefited from the news, with the stock price raised by 5.67%.

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