Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble delayed again by Covid outbreaks
Bangkok, May 17 (EFE).- A resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Singapore has prompted officials to delay the planned air corridor between the city-state and Hong Kong later this month, the transport ministry said Monday.
The so-called ‘travel bubble’ was due to be launched on 26 May.
“Both sides remain strongly committed to launching the ATB (Air Travel Bubble) safely. However, in light of the recent increase in unlinked community cases, Singapore is unable to meet the criteria to start the Singapore-Hong Kong ATB,” a ministry statement said.
“Both sides therefore agreed to defer the launch of the ATB to protect the health of travelers and the public in these two places.”
Singapore’s transport minister, S. Iswaran, and the secretary for commerce and economic development for Hong Kong’s special administration government, Edward Yu, addressed the matter in a meeting and did not specify when the air corridor was likely to go ahead.
The travel bubble was initially due to open in November 2020 but was delayed indefinitely following a spike in cases in Hong Kong.
Lauded for its handling of the pandemic so far, Singapore from Monday is applying fresh restrictions to curb the spread of new Covid-19 outbreaks detected in the city-state.
For now, its borders will remain closed to foreign tourists and residents returning from abroad will need to observe an extended quarantine period of 21 days.
Singaporean health authorities on Monday reported 28 new Covid-19 cases, 11 of which are thought to be unrelated to established clusters.
There are currently 11 active outbreaks in Singapore, including one at Changi airport. The city-state has recorded 61,613 cases and 31 deaths since the pandemic began.