Spike in cases delays Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble

Hong Kong Bans Air India Flights For 14 Days After Passengers Test COVID Positive at Airport

According to guidelines of Hong Kong government, a pre-flight COVID-19 negative certificate is mandatory for all passengers from Bangladesh, India, Ethiopia, France, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the US.

The air travel bubble, originally slated to begin Sunday, will be delayed by at least two weeks, Hong Kong's minister of commerce and economic development, Edward Yau, said at a news conference.

Reportedly, this is the fifth time that the Hong Kong government has banned Air India flights from India for landing with passengers who were already symptomatic after being screening by the authorities.

Hong Kong reported 43 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, one day before an arrangement with Singapore to allow a limited number of passengers to fly both ways without having to go through quarantine kicks in.

Hong Kong on Friday banned Air India flights from Delhi for 14 days after some passengers tested positive for coronavirus at the airport.

"I can fully understand the disappointment and frustration of travellers who have planned their trips". The current average in Hong Kong is almost four, prompting Yau and Singapore's transport minister, Ong Ye Kung, to postpone the inaugural flight. "But we think it is better to defer from a public health standpoint", he wrote.

Ong said in a Facebook post Saturday that the postponement is a "sober reminder that the COVID-19 virus is still with us".

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Under the terms of the arrangement, travel 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 either Singapore or Hong Kong.

"The Singapore and Hong Kong health authorities are in close contact and monitoring the situation", the CAAS added.

SIA and Cathay Pacific said customers may request a full refund for their flights with cancellation fees waived.

The "Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore announced that the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) will be launched as scheduled, with arriving passengers subject to an on-arrival test as a further precaution", Ong explained on Saturday.

Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung told reporters that both cities were "still considered low-risk".

Travellers between Singapore and Hong Kong will have to take Covid-19 tests, in lieu of serving quarantine or stay-home notices.

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