Singapore-Hong Kong airline bubble launch postponed for 2 weeks after peak COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong


SINGAPORE: The launch of an air bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong has been postponed for two weeks after a peak in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong, Singapore’s transport minister said on Saturday afternoon (November 21), Ong Ye Kung.

The air bubble was due to start on Sunday.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, Ong said he had had discussions with Hong Kong Secretary of Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau over the travel bubble.

“Given the developments in Hong Kong, (Mr.) Yau and I discussed further this afternoon and decided that it would be better to postpone the launch of the air transport bubble for two weeks. “said Mr. Ong.

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“We will review the new launch date within two weeks and update it.

“I can fully understand the disappointment and frustration of travelers who have planned their trips. But we believe it is better to differ from a public health perspective.”

Airlines will contact travelers individually, the transport minister added.

Hong Kong reported 43 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, 36 of which were transmitted locally.

“In light of the recent surge in local cases, we have decided, together with the Singapore government, to postpone the launch of the air transport bubble for two weeks,” Yau told reporters in Hong Kong.

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“It’s a sober reminder that the COVID-19 virus is still with us, and even as we struggle to get back to our normal lives, the journey will be full of ups and downs. But we will continue and look forward to when we do. We can safely launch the air transport bubble, ”said Ong.

Earlier on Saturday morning, Ong said there was a “high chance” that the airline bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong would be suspended if the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong continued on its current course.

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Under the travel bubble, the arrangement would be put on hold if the seven-day moving average of unrelated cases exceeds five per day in either city.

Hong Kong has seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, a situation the city’s Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan described as “serious” on Friday.

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