MIAMI – On the heels of New Zealand/Australia and, possibly, the UK/US, Hong Kong (HKG), and Singapore (SIN) now want to open their own travel bubble, which has already been long postponed.

According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), HKG and SIN are set to open a quarantine-free travel bubble starting May 26. Under the agreement, the facility shall begin with a dedicated flight on each side, carrying no more than 200 passengers, as both countries deem that their Covid-19 containment measures have yielded satisfactory results.

HKG will, however, require from its residents the completion of the vaccination process of two injections at least two weeks before departure. The measure is applicable to all HKG residents and exceptions are made for people under 16 years, who were medically advised against vaccination, still eligible for travel within the bubble.

The vaccination rule applies only to travelers using HKG passports; those traveling with other documents will be exempted.

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 9V-SMH – Photo : Alberto Cucini/Airways

Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines to Benefit

The first flight will be operated by Cathay Pacific (CX), departing HKG on Wednesday, May 26 at 09:10 with a return flight expected to arrive HKG on Thursday at 02:45. Singapore Airlines (SQ) is expected to take off from SIN Wednesday, May 26 at 08:45. All the times are local.

On the same subject, SCMP reports that the already existing “Return2HG” bubble between Macau (MFM) and HKG, is being extended to all mainland China rendering possible the quarantine-free return to HKG of all its residents living on the mainland provided they are negatively tested before departure. The measure will be one-way only (from the mainland to HKG) since China still sees HKG as a Covid-19 risk area.

The complete re-opening of the HKG-Mainland China border will only be possible when the pandemic situation in HKG is under better control. on this subject HKG Civil service Chief, Patrick Nip Tak-Kuen commented, “We must achieve near to zero, or sustain a low number of, confirmed cases, and very importantly, no unlinked cases. In the eyes of mainland authorities, they will look into whether Hong Kong, in their classification, is still a high- or medium- risk area.”

Featured image: Cathay Pacific Airbus 350-1000 B-LXB – Photo: Ervin Eslami/Airways