Hong Kong, Singapore to launch travel bubble

Travel bubble will be suspended if too many new coronavirus cases emerge

Two people wearing masks walk in Singapore's Merlion Park. 

Two people wearing masks walk in Singapore's Merlion Park.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hong Kong and Singapore will allow 200 travelers a day to visit in each direction beginning Nov. 22 without having to spend 14 days in quarantine after their arrival, reports said Wednesday (Nov. 11).

The travel bubble will feature one flight in each direction by Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, according to Reuters. For Hong Kong, it will be the first time that foreign visitors are allowed in without quarantines, as even travelers from nearby Macau and China still have to isolate for 14 days.

Singapore is already open to visitors from New Zealand, Vietnam, and Brunei, while business and diplomatic travelers from China, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Indonesia have also been exempted from quarantine requirements.

If Hong Kong and Singapore record no problem with the new travel bubble, the frequency of daily flights between the two will be increased from Dec. 7. However, in the case of five untraceable coronavirus infections within a seven-day period, the bubble will be suspended for two weeks, the Associated Press reported.

While not subject to quarantine, the travelers will still have to be tested for the virus and travel on designated flights. Upon arrival, their movements will not be restricted.

Taiwan has been willing to introduce travel bubbles, but an attempt with Palau did not come through after the small Pacific island nation reportedly expressed concern over the possibility of imported infections. Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) estimated that it might take another year before international travel returns to normal.

Updated : 2021-01-27 13:11 GMT+08:00