Singapore says it hopes to start talks with Hong Kong about a possible air travel bubble.
Travel bubbles are exclusive agreements between countries or regions that have shown success in containing Covid-19 within their respective borders. These countries then go on to re-open borders between them and allow people to travel freely within the zone without having to undergo a 14-day quarantine period.
In a ministerial statement delivered in parliament on October 6, Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung outlined plans for the city-state’s aviation sector, according to Channel News Asia (CNA).
Creating more green lanes and negotiating air travel bubbles with countries whose Covid-19 infection rates were low were among the plans outlined to “revive” Changi Air Hub, reports CNA.
Ong said Hong Kong has announced its intention to establish air travel bubbles with several countries, including Singapore. Singapore hopes to start discussions with Hong Kong and other partners soon, the minister added according to the report.
“While we should establish (air travel bubbles) only with safe countries and regions, we can further manage risks by setting a quota on the number of travellers per day and ensuring that everyone abides by Covid-19 test protocols,” said Ong according to CNA.
He added that these air travel bubbles are for general travellers and have no requirements for a “controlled itinerary”. They are different from reciprocal green lanes, which are for official and essential business travel.
“We also require travellers to apply for an air travel pass before their journeys, to allow us to plan for their arrivals, and throttle down the numbers, reduce the quota, if the epidemic situation changes,” said Ong, reports CNA.