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Singapore and Hong Kong re-establish air travel

Hong Kong Observation Wheel
© Anson_shutterstock / Shutterstock
On May 26, Hong Kong and Singapore will open a so-called travel bubble, allowing tourists to travel between the two territories without quarantine.

The agreement was initially scheduled to begin in November last year, but the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong put plans on hold. When the situation stabilized, authorities decided to resume negotiations.

For the first two weeks, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines plan to operate one flight per day in each direction with a maximum capacity of 200 passengers. Tourists from both states will be required to take the COVID-19 test within three days of departure and again upon arrival. It is mandatory for passengers from Hong Kong to receive two doses of the Сoronavirus vaccine. Travelers from other countries who want to take advantage of the travel bubble will need to be in the country of departure for at least 14 days before travel.

Both Singapore and Hong Kong are seeking to promote tourism, which relied heavily on foreign travelers before the pandemic.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board, international arrivals in the third quarter of 2020 were 81.2% lower than in the same period last year. And Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways reported record losses of $2.8 billion in 2020, cutting about a quarter of its staff.