Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble could take off late this month

Secretary for commerce and economic development Edward Yau expressed optimism that people will be able to start flying between Hong Kong and Singapore by the end of November 2020. PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG, AFP

Avid travellers may soon be able to scratch that itch with the planned Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble late this month.

Hong Kong's Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau yesterday expressed optimism that people will be able to start flying between the two cities by the end of the month, as both governments finalise details of the travel bubble that was announced in mid-October.

Speaking to reporters after a TV interview, Mr Yau said travel agencies would likely start selling tickets from the middle of this month.

At least one designated flight between the two cities every day is expected during the initial phase of the travel bubble.

More flights could be scheduled if the arrangement proves popular, Mr Yau said, adding that there are measures in place to suspend the travel bubble if the Covid-19 situation in either city worsens.

Separately, Hong Kong officials are still in the midst of talks with their Guangdong counterparts over a delayed plan to reopen borders with the mainland.

Hong Kong had seven new confirmed cases yesterday, bringing its tally to 5,330, including 105 deaths. Of the new cases, six were imported and one was local.

Health authorities said yesterday that a woman from China awaiting deportation is among the new cases.

The 42-year-old was arrested last Wednesday for being an alleged overstayer. She had spent time in Mong Kok Police Station and detention centres in Castle Peak Bay and Ma Tau Kok, coming into contact with a dozen detainees who slept in the same room.

The authorities are trying to trace the source of her infection.

They are also keeping a close watch on a cluster of potential infections, including a woman and a man, both 26, who had stayed at the Seaview Holiday Resort in Silvermine Bay with six others between Oct 25 and 27.

A 15-year-old boy who came into contact with the woman during a separate family gathering also tested positive in a preliminary test. His school in Fanling will be shut for two weeks for disinfection.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2020, with the headline Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble could take off late this month. Subscribe