Hong Kong, Singapore travel bubble to open next month

A long delayed travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore will begin on May 26, the two cities announced on Monday (April 26).

The bubble had been slated to start last November, but was put on hold after a spike in coronavirus cases in Hong Kong.

The scheme will start with one flight a day into each city, with up to 200 travelers on each flight.

Those on board will not have to quarantine and there will be no restrictions on the purpose of their travel.

They will, however, have to test negative for COVID-19 before departing and on arrival.

An extra requirement for Hong Kong travelers is that they must have had the vaccination.

Hong Kong's Commerce Secretary Edward Yau used the announcement to encourage people to get the shot.

"Reflecting new developments with regards to the pandemic, including mutant variants that may have longer incubation periods, we see the need to build in additional safeguards. We take the opportunity to encourage Hong Kong residents to complete their vaccinations before taking advantage of this new program."

Both Hong Kong and Singapore said they are in talks with New Zealand and Australia for similar travel bubbles.

The scheme, however, will be suspended if local transmission goes up in either city.

In the past week, cases of a new COVID variant have inched up in Hong Kong.

Singapore is also investigating possible COVID-19 reinfection cases at a migrant worker dormitory.

The dormitories were at the center of Singapore's outbreak last year, with thousands of cases.