All you need to know about the Hong Kong – Singapore travel bubble
The Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble was heralded as the world’s first leisure travel bubble, initially scheduled to launch on November 22nd 2020, but was later delayed to 2021 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. With that said, some of the details of the travel bubble have been hammered out, which this Pacific Prime Hong Kong article sheds light on.
Note: The information regarding how the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble works is for reference only. For the most up-to-date information, please wait until the travel bubble is launched, as the details may have changed.
What is the Hong Kong – Singapore travel bubble?
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, where scores of countries are imposing mandatory quarantine for arrivals from overseas, the Hong Kong – Singapore travel bubble enables quarantine-free travel between the two city-states.
There are certain groups of travelers from Singapore that are barred from traveling to Hong Kong under the travel bubble. These include holders of Work Permits or S Passes working in the construction, marine shipyard, or process sectors.
Apart from the aforementioned categories, all those who want to use the travel bubble must not have been in any other city (apart from Singapore and Hong Kong) in the last 14 days prior to departure, test negative for COVID-19 (at their own expense), and travel by a designated flight.
Here is the travel procedure as of now:
Travel to Hong Kong
If you want to travel to Hong Kong under this travel bubble, you’ll need to apply for a visa (if needed) and purchase tickets for a designated flight. Next, take a pre-departure COVID-19 test using the PCR nucleic acid test method, within 72 hours before your departure. You must also submit a health declaration form and book a COVID-19 test for your arrival in Hong Kong.
Once you arrive in Hong Kong, undergo temperature screening and present the QR code of your health declaration form. Next, take a post-arrival COVID-19 test using PCR nucleic acid test method. Following a negative result of the test, you’ll be able to leave the airport and enjoy your quarantine-free stay in Hong Kong.
Travel to Singapore
If you want to travel to Singapore under this travel bubble, you’ll need to apply for a visa (if needed) and purchase tickets for a designated flight. Next, take a pre-departure COVID-19 test using the PCR nucleic acid test method, within 72 hours before departure. You must also complete and submit the SG Arrival Card, no earlier than 3 days prior to your arrival in Singapore.
Additional steps for certain groups of travelers:
For Singapore long-term pass holders: apply for entry approval from the relevant Singapore Government agencies.
Once you arrive in Singapore, you must take a post-arrival COVID-19 test using the PCR nucleic acid test method. After the test, you’ll need to take private transportation to your declared accommodation. While waiting for the test result, which will take six to eight hours, you must self isolate. Following a negative result, you can enjoy quarantine-free stay in Singapore.
What does the delay of the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble mean?
The Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble was delayed on the eve of its inaugural flight, due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong, which comes as a blow to the tourism sector that was looking forward to quarantine-free travel. This is in sharp contrast to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic where the SAR ‘beat coronavirus and avoided lockdown’.
If you’ve already booked and paid for a designated flight, the announcement of the delay of the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble at the last minute is disappointing to say the least. The two airlines running designated flights are Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, so you’re advised to contact your airline directly to find out what your options are.
Broadly speaking, you’re likely to be placed on a non-Air Travel Bubble flight, where normal quarantine rules will apply. If this is something you’re unable or unwilling to do, you may be given the option to either reschedule your flight for a different date or to request a full refund of your ticket.
Implication for other travel bubbles
As the Asia-Pacific region has been one of the toughest on air travel restrictions, aviation analyst Brendan Sobie hoped that this delay of the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble doesn’t deter other low-risk countries from moving forward with their travel bubbles. This is because the Hong Kong-Singapore bubble was a model for how other countries could restart flights safely.
Brendan said in a SCMP article that:
“If the Hong Kong – Singapore delay sets back the overall momentum towards resuming international air travel within the Asia-Pacific [region], then the setback will be significant.”
Secure adequete COVID-19 insurance before you fly
While there are no health insurance requirements for the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble, being in possession of a health insurance plan can give travelers an extra layer of protection and peace of mind when traveling during these uncertain times. To learn more about COVID-19 insurance, you can get in touch with an established broker like Pacific Prime Hong Kong.
We’ve got a presence in all corners of the globe, including in Singapore. Whether you’re looking for international health insurance, short term health insurance, or any other health insurance plan for your travels during the pandemic, we can help. Contact us today for an impartial consultation and a no-obligation quote!
Outside of work, Suphanida enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.
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