Hong Kong and Singapore have agreed to set up a travel bubble between the two destinations, the Hong Kong government announced on Thursday, as the concept of targeted travel between countries grows more and more popular.
As part of the “Air Travel Bubble,” people will be able to travel for any reason and won’t have to quarantine, but will be required to show proof of a negative “mutually” recognized COVID-19 PCR test, according to the Hong Kong government.
Special flights will be scheduled to serve travelers using the bubble and passengers not included in the bubble would not be allowed to board, the plan detailed.
"Both our cities have low incidence of COVID-19 cases and have put in place robust mechanisms to manage and control COVID-19. This has given us the confidence to mutually and progressively open our borders to each other," Ong Ye Kung, Singapore’s minister for transport, said in a statement. "It is a safe, careful but significant step forward to revive air travel, and provide a model for future collaboration with other parts of the world."
Edward Yau, Hong Kong's secretary for commerce and economic development, called the travel bubble a “milestone in our efforts to resume normalcy while fighting against the long-drawn battle of COVID-19.”
In total, Singapore has reported just over 57,890 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, while Hong Kong has reported just over 5,200.
A date for the opening of the travel bubble has not yet been determined, but both Singapore and Hong Kong have established hygiene certification programs for tourism-related businesses in an effort to encourage travel.
The idea of a concentrated travel corridor has been growing increasingly popular as COVID-19 continues to stymie travel across the globe. On Friday, New Zealand tourists will be able to fly into the Australian cities of Sydney and Darwin without the need for a quarantine as part of the “Trans-Tasman Bubble.” Currently, that travel corridor works one-way, and Australians are not yet able to use it to travel to New Zealand.
Officials are also considering setting up a travel corridor between New York City and London in time for the holidays, which could include mandatory testing and a potential quarantine period.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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