Hong Kong, Singapore to review travel bubble date in July

June 11, 2021 - 8:53 AM
Marina Bay Singapore Merlion Park
A view of an empty Merlion Park, as tourism braces for a steep decline following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) along Marina Bay in Singapore, March 26, 2020. (Reuters/Edgar Su/File Photo)

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE — Hong Kong and Singapore will review in July plans to open a travel bubble, their governments said on Thursday, after the proposal was derailed for a second time in May due to a spike of coronavirus cases in Singapore.

The COVID-19 situation in Singapore has stabilized in recent weeks, its government said in a statement, noting that the number of community cases and local unlinked COVID-19 cases were showing a downward trend. It also said the situation in Hong Kong remained stable.

“Both governments remain strongly committed… to resuming air travel between the two regional aviation hubs and international cities in a gradual and orderly manner under a set of stringent public health protocols,” Hong Kong‘s government said in a separate statement.

The bubble was initially slated to begin in November, but was called off after a rise in cases in Hong Kong. It was due to start with one flight a day into each city, with up to 200 travelers on each flight.

For Hong Kong, which has banned non-residents coming to the city since March last year, the deal with Singapore would have been its first travel link with another city.

Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines were due to be the carriers offering the initial flights. —Reporting by Twinnie Siu in Hong Kong and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Writing by Farah Master Editing by Peter Graff & Simon Cameron-Moore