Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble: What you need to know

Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble: What you need to know

Singapore Hong Kong skyline
The skylines of Singapore (left) and Hong Kong (right) at night. (Photos: AFP)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble starts on Nov 22 with an initial one flight a day into each city, according to details released by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Wednesday (Nov 11).

Travellers between the two cities will have to take dedicated flights – with a maximum of 200 passengers each way – and take COVID-19 tests. They will not be subject to quarantine or stay-home notice.

Ahead of the inaugural flight, here are some things to bear in mind if you are thinking of a getaway to Hong Kong:

WHO’S ELIGIBLE?

Anyone who has remained in Singapore or Hong Kong for the last 14 consecutive days prior to departure can travel.

There are no restrictions on the purpose of travel and no requirement for a controlled itinerary or sponsorship.

However, for Singapore, holders of work permits and S Passes in the construction, marine shipyard or process sectors are excluded from the arrangement.

As for travellers from Hong Kong, they must apply for an Air Travel Pass between seven and 30 days before their intended date of entry into Singapore. Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders are exempt from this requirement.

singapore hong kong travel bubble graphic

READ: Singapore, Hong Kong air travel bubble to start on Nov 22 with 200 travellers each way per day

WHAT ABOUT COVID-19 TESTING?

Travellers from Singapore will be tested for COVID-19 at three points: Before departing from Singapore, upon arriving in Hong Kong, and before departing from Hong Kong.

In Singapore, they must first test negative on a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours of their scheduled departure time.

Those who are planning to be tested before Dec 1 will need to apply for approval using a confirmed Hong Kong flight ticket at least seven days before departure, before contacting and arranging their test with a recognised testing centre. From Dec 1, they will not need to seek approval.

Travellers must also submit a health declaration and present this at the airport when they arrive, according to information on Hong Kong’s Tourism Commission website.

Upon arrival, travellers will be required to take a PCR test at Hong Kong International Airport. They must book and pay for this test before departing from Singapore.

Travellers must remain at the Hong Kong airport until they receive their negative test results.

Finally, before departing from Hong Kong, travellers must take a PCR test within 72 hours of their scheduled departure time at a recognised testing centre.

Children aged 12 or younger do not need to be tested before departing from Hong Kong.

If the time between the COVID-19 test upon arrival in Hong Kong and the departure from Hong Kong is less than 72 hours, travellers will not need to be tested again before leaving Hong Kong, according to information on the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's website.

These travellers will need to present their earlier negative test result to airline staff members when checking in for their return flight to Singapore.

Hong Kong travellers whose pre-departure test in Hong Kong was taken less than 72 hours before their return flight do not need to be tested again before leaving Singapore, according to information on Hong Kong’s Tourism Commission website.

HOW OFTEN ARE THE FLIGHTS?

From Nov 22 to Dec 6, there will be one flight a day each way with a limit of 200 passengers on board.

From Dec 7, this will increase to two flights a day each way. The quota remains at 200 passengers for each flight.

Flights on the air travel bubble are operated by Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific according to the following schedule:

Singapore Airlines Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Singapore ATB
(Table: Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore)

READ: Singapore, Hong Kong air travel bubble 'important step' for ongoing recovery of airline industry: SIA

WHAT MEASURES DO I HAVE TO OBSERVE DURING MY TRIP?

All travellers must comply with prevailing public health and safe distancing measures in both Singapore and Hong Kong. That includes wearing masks and observing limits on group gatherings.

In Singapore, Hong Kong travellers must download and register for the TraceTogether app on their mobile phones, and keep it activated during their stay. They must also keep the app on their phones for 14 days after leaving Singapore.

WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19?

Travellers who test positive for COVID-19 while in Hong Kong or Singapore will bear the full cost of any medical treatment, subject to the prevailing medical and healthcare policies.

COULD THE AIR TRAVEL BUBBLE BE SUSPENDED?

Yes, the air travel bubble will be suspended for two weeks if the seven-day moving average of the daily number of unlinked COVID-19 cases is more than five in Singapore or Hong Kong.

The arrangement will resume if the seven-day moving average falls to five or fewer on the last day of the suspension period.

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Source: CNA/dv

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