Here’s the latest on Singapore and Hong Kong’s highly anticipated two-way Air Travel Bubble for travellers to fly between the two city-states.
Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Singapore, the commencement of the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble slated for 26 May 2021 has yet again been delayed. According to The Straits Times, Transport Minister S. Iswaran and Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau have agreed to monitor the public health situation and revisit discussions regarding the new launch date towards the end of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) in Singapore.
Based on previous discussions, when the travel bubble eventually launches, travellers who are keen to hop on a getaway will not be subjected to Stay-Home Notices (SHN) or controlled itineraries among other benefits — however, a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test will be required. Keep this page on tab for constant updates on the SG-HK travel bubble.
(Updated: 17 May 2021)
Guides to Resuming International Travel:
#1: Which Country Can I Travel to Now?
#2: Which Airlines Are Resuming Flights?
#3: Future of Air Travel After COVID-19
#4: When Can We Travel Again: 2023 Forecast
#5: Immunity Passports to Resume Travel
#6: Can Singaporeans Travel to Brunei & New Zealand?
#7: How Airlines Are Wooing You Back Onboard
#8: Post-COVID-19 Travel Habits
#9: How Tech & AI Are Helping to Reignite Tourism
#10: Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble Guide
#11: Everything You Need To Know About Singapore’s COVID-19 Vaccinations
#12: Travel Corridor vs Travel Bubble: Everything To Know About Flying
When Will The Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble Start?
As of 20 Feb, South China Morning Post has reported that Singapore and Hongkong have once again begun talks regarding the postponed Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble that was initiated slated for 22 November last year. The plan allowed for 200 travellers to go each way, with one flight per day. Authorities were also looking to increase to two flights per day from 7 December 2020 onwards. However, Hong Kong Government Pandemic Advisor Professor David Hui Shu-cheong cautioned that the pandemic has to be observed for a longer period of time before the city once again decides to resume those travel arrangements. While the old conditions still apply, additional safeguards will be implemented as well.
What Are The Benefits of The Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble?
- No restrictions on travel purpose
- No need for quarantine
- No need for Stay-Home Notice (SHN)
- No need for a controlled itinerary
How Do I Qualify to Travel in The Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble?
In order to qualify to travel in the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble, you’ll need to:
- Purchase and confirm your flight ticket
- Get approval from Singapore authorities for COVID-19 PCR test at least seven days before departure
- Once you receive approval, take the COVID-19 PCR test at least 72 hours before departure
- Take another COVID-19 test when you arrive at Hong Kong International Airport
- There will be a further test if you choose to stay for longer than a week
- Singapore requires visitors to install the TraceTogether app for contact arrangement
- As an added precaution, individuals who choose to travel should be vaccinated.
Note: The PCR test should not be more than S$200 in Singapore, says the Ministry of Health (MOH), whilst the PCR test you take at Hong Kong International Airport should be about HKD$499 (~S$87).
Who Can Fly Within the Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble?
Not everyone is automatically qualified for the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble!
You’re allowed to fly if:
- You’ve remained in Singapore or Hong Kong in the last 14 consecutive days
You’re not allowed to fly if:
- You hold a work permit and/or S-Pass in construction, marine shipyard, and process sectors
What Happens If I Contract COVID-19 While Travelling to Hong Kong?
That’s a very valid question – but unfortunately you’ll have to bear the full cost of treatment if you happen to contract COVID-19. This is of course subjected to your medical and healthcare policies as well.
What Else Should I Know About The Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble?
Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble will suspend for two weeks if there are more than five unlinked COVID-19 cases in either Singapore or Hong Kong. When that happens, the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble will only resume when the number of COVID-19 cases drop below five in either cities.
Which Airlines Will Be Flying Direct Between Singapore and Hong Kong?
|Singapore Airlines||SQ 890|
|Singapore – Hong Kong|
|Cathay Pacific Airways||CX 759|
|Hong Kong – Singapore|
Singapore’s and Hong Kong’s flag carriers, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, have started selling direct flights between these two destinations. You may view all major airlines’ flight schedules here – we update the guide weekly.
The aviation industry in Singapore and Hong Kong depend very highly on international travel as the two cities are too small to depend on domestic travel via flights. Singapore Airlines reported a net loss of S$1.12 billion in the first quarter of 2020, while Cathay Pacific reported a net loss of HK$9.87 billion (S$1.73 billion) in the same quarter.
What Will Flying Look Like in The Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble?
Flights between Singapore and Hong Kong have already shot up in price right after the announcement of the travel bubble in-principle agreement. Bloomberg reported on October 16, 2020 that the cheapest return flight with Singapore Airlines is S$558, a 40% increase from the afternoon before, and it’s only set to rise from there.
This is in line with Brian Pearce’s prediction that flight tickets will be 43% to 54% higher than pre-COVID-19 levels. There’s also a lot of pre-flight procedures and paperwork to go through, a huge part of it has to do with the accreditation and test-taking for the COVID-19 PCR test, which is quickly becoming the standard for an immunity passport.
Last but not least, there will be increased hygienic and sanitation practices on flights, as we’ve delved into the future of air travel here.
Which Other Countries Can Singaporeans Travel To?
Singaporeans may travel to the listed countries below, but certain restrictions still apply:
|🇧🇳 Brunei Darussalam||• 14-day self-paid quarantine|
• Negative COVID-19 test before departure
|🇨🇳 China (Mainland)||• ‘Fast lane’ sponsored by Chinese government or businesses|
• COVID-19 test before departure & upon arrival
|🇩🇪 Germany||• Measures to be updated by MOFA Germany|
|🇮🇩 Indonesia||• Submit travel history & controlled itinerary|
• Present negative COVID-19 test result before departure
• To adhere to controlled itinerary once in Indonesia
|🇯🇵 Japan||• 14-day self-paid quarantine|
• Other measures be updated by MOFA Japan
|🇲🇾 Malaysia||• 14-day self-paid quarantine|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||• Negative COVID-19 test before departure to be shown upon arrival|
• To adhere to controlled itinerary imposed by South Korean authorities
|🇹🇼 Taiwan||• Present negative COVID-19 test results before departure|
• 7-day self-paid quarantine
• Self-paid COVID-19 test on 7th day of quarantine
|🇹🇭 Thailand||• Approved Certificate of Entry|
• Approved Fit-to-Fly Medical Certificate
• 14-day self-paid isolation at Thai Government approved hotels
• Documentation & payment showing your hotel booking, 6-month bank statement with funds not less than THB 500,000 (S$21,941.86), & health + accident insurance coverage sold by Thai insurers
|🇬🇧 United Kingdom||• 14-day self-isolation|
It should be noted that with the exception of Hong Kong and Thailand, Singaporeans who want to travel to the above mentioned countries must do so on business or official travel only.
Thailand is a special case for Singaporeans, because it’s meant for long-term tourism – 90 days, in fact. You also have to have a certain amount of funds, insurance coverage, and other requirements stipulated by Thailand.
You may view more details of the requirements for the above mentioned countries in our COVID-19 country borders guide here.
I’m Busting Out My Passport…
The Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble is one of the first, monumental steps to resuming international air travel within Southeast Asia. When more neighbouring countries get COVID-19 under control, we can probably establish more air travel bubbles with them and also gradually with the rest of the world.
For us to start travelling again however, we’ll have to adapt to these necessary measures. These are all implemented for good reason and the best we can do as travellers is to be patient and be kind to everyone involved.
As we anticipate the reopening of borders and talks of Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble to start up again — why not take this time to make sure that you’ve got your YouTrip card ready to take advantage of our Wholesale Exchange Rates for all your Hong Kong dollar (HKD) purchases! (Meanwhile, you can still enjoy great savings on all your international online shopping.)
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