The much-anticipated travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore has been postponed again, just days before its planned launch next week.
The agreement had originally been due to start in November 2020, but was delayed due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong.
The launch date was eventually reset for May 26, 2021, but has now been postponed again, this time because of a spike in cases in Singapore.
The Straits Times reports that both the Hong Kong and Singapore governments had agreed that the bubble would be suspended “when the seven-day moving average of unlinked community cases in either Singapore or Hong Kong increases to more than five” – a figure that was surpassed in Singapore at the start of this week.
A statement on info.gov.hk said that “the two governments will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation in both places, including the effectiveness of the enhanced anti-epidemic measures introduced by the Singapore Government, which have taken effect from yesterday (May 16) and would last till June 13”.
“During this period, both sides will continue to maintain communication, exchange relevant data and statistics, and review developments closely before deciding on the way forward with the inaugural flights under the ATB,” the statement continued. “A further announcement will be made on or before June 13.”
Cathay Pacific had been due to start quarantine-free flights between Hong Kong and Singapore from May 26, but has posted the following update on its website:
“In view of the recent Covid-19 epidemic situation in Singapore, the governments of Hong Kong and Singapore have decided to postpone the launch of the Air Travel Bubble. A further announcement is expected to be made on or before June 13. Please refer to the Hong Kong Tourism Commission website for the latest updates.”