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Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble deferred

Arrivals into Hong Kong from Singapore must now quarantine for 21 days.

The Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble has burst for the second time following a spike in Covid-19 cases in Singapore.

Singapore today reported 28 new cases including 21 in the community. Eleven of these were unlinked to previous infections. This places its seven-day moving average at six, which is above the bubble’s permitted threshold of five.

Both governments have to defer the arrangement which would see travellers from one city able to enter the other city quarantine-free. This second attempt at a bubble was due to launch on May 26. A new launch date will be reviewed towards the end of Singapore’s recently announced ‘Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)’ which is in place until June 13.

Under the terms of the agreement, the travel bubble must be suspended for 14 days if the seven-day moving average of community cases in either city is more than five.

In November the first attempt at quarantine-free travel between the two cities was called off at the eleventh hour when cases in Hong Kong began to surge.

In recent weeks Singapore has witnessed several clusters which have prompted a two-week closure of Changi Airport. The Changi cluster is currently the largest active cluster in the city, with 74 linked cases so far. From May 21, Hong Kong will move Singapore from its low risk ‘D’ list to the higher risk ‘B’ list. This means arrivals for the Lion City must provide a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of departure and must quarantine in a hotel for 21 days. However, travellers that are fully vaccinated can benefit from a reduced quarantine to 14 days followed by a seven-day self-monitoring period at home. Singapore residents returning from Hong Kong must serve a seven day Stay Home Notice.

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport said that the situation will be closely monitored and that both cities remain “strongly committed” to launching the travel bubble safely. It said a further announcement would be made on or before June 13.

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