SINGAPORE: Discussions on the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble will resume only when the COVID-19 situation allows, Singapore's Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Tuesday (Jul 20).
This is given the recent surge in community cases and the imposition of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures in Singapore until Aug 18, the ministry said.
Transport Minister S Iswaran and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau will remain in close contact and monitor the public health situation in both places before "taking stock in late August" on the travel bubble, MOT said.
A Hong Kong government spokesperson said in a separate statement on Tuesday that given the recent surge of confirmed cases in Singapore, the conditions for launching the bubble could not be met for the time being.
Both governments will review the target date "taking into account the effectiveness of the enhanced infection control measures implemented by Singapore and the global situation at that time", the spokesperson said.
MOT said on Jun 10 that the travel bubble will remain on hold even though the COVID-19 situation in Singapore had improved.
Singapore and Hong Kong will review the situation in July before deciding on a launch date, it said then.
Singapore will return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) restrictions from Jul 22 to Aug 18 to combat a rise in local COVID-19 cases.
During this period, dining-in at F&B outlets will be suspended and group sizes for social gatherings will go back down to two people.
At the current rate of transmission, it is likely that infection cases will “rise sharply”, said the Ministry of Health.