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The Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble: all you need to know
Here are some glad tidings for those of you eager to start travelling again.
Singapore and Hong Kong are officially launching the world’s air travel bubble which will allow for quarantine-free travel between the two locations.
If you’re already packing your bags, here are a few things to note about this new initiative before you book that flight.
- What is an air travel bubble?
- When does it start?
- Who’s eligible?
- What flights are available?
- How many COVID-19 tests need to be done?
- Costs incurred for tests and medical treatment
What is an air travel bubble?
Essentially, the air travel bubble will be a new method of travel between Singapore and Hong Kong where certain precautions like mandatory COVID-19 testing, restrictions such as limited flight options and destinations, and specific eligibility criteria will be applied.
The purpose of this initiative is to allow travellers to travel quarantine-free without the need to isolate for 14 days upon arrival at their destination.
When does it start?
Starting November 22 this year up to December 6, up to 200 people per day will be able to fly on specific flights on the Singapore-Hong Kong route via this travel bubble.
Should COVID-19 numbers remain relatively stable in both locations, then phase 2 of the travel bubble will begin on December 6th. Here, 400 people will be able to travel on these limited flights per day with two flights departing daily.
This arrangement has since been deferred for two weeks as of November 21.
As Hong Kong has requested, those in Singapore with a work permit or holding an S-pass who work in construction, marine shipyard or process sectors will not be eligible for the travel bubble.
This is due to the fact that many from these groups live in dormitories which have made up 94 percent of Singapore’s total infections. Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung communicated that this led to Hong Kong authorities being particularly concerned about this group of workers.
Who is eligible then?
What flights are available?
As for now, this travel bubble involves two airlines – namely, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific.
But before you book your flight, it’s important to note that air travel bubble flights only include limited flights.
Below are the flights you’ll want to look out for:
|Singapore to Hong Kong||SQ890 and CX734||Singapore Airlines/Cathay Pacific|
|Hong Kong to Singapore||SQ391 and CX759||Singapore Airlines/Cathay Pacific|
Flights will begin flying on Sunday, November 22, starting with SQ890 operated by Singapore Airlines to depart from Singapore and CX759 by Cathay Pacific departing from Hong Kong.
From November 23 to 29, Singapore Airlines will operate SQ890 and SQ891 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and Cathay Pacific will do so for CX734 and CX759 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Travellers will only be able to travel quarantine-free in the ATB with these specific flights.
| See more: How to travel safer in 2020 |
How many COVID-19 tests need to be done?
Flying on the travel bubble between the two cities will also require a degree of paperwork. Tests should be taken within 72 hours prior to departure and applications for travel approval should be done online at least seven days ahead of time.
Three PCR tests in total need to be taken, one pre-departure, once at the Hong Kong airport upon arrival and once again in Hong Kong before departing to Singapore.
Also, do take note that you can’t get your polymerise chain reaction (PCR) test done at any hospital or clinic you choose.
Before departure, you will have to submit a request on the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s (CAAS) SafeTravel website to get a pre-departure PCR test done. You will need a confirmed flight ticket before submitting your request. Wait for the e-mail approval, likely to be given within three working days, before heading down for the test.
Once you have your e-mail approval, you will be able to get your test done at any of these 400 clinics or testing centres in Singapore.
You will need a confirmed flight ticket before submitting your request. Wait for the e-mail approval, likely to be given within three working days, before heading down for the test.
Finally, you will be required to take the last PCR test on your trip in Hong Kong before you depart back to Singapore. This can be carried out at any one of these approved clinics.
Costs incurred for tests and medical treatment
Should travellers become COVID-19 positive in either city, they will need to bear the full cost of any medical treatment provided to them.
The cost of COVID-19 tests taken also need to be borne by travellers. In Singapore, PCR tests at most clinics will cost S$200 while PCR tests in Hong Kong will cost HK$499 post-arrival at the airport and HK$240 at any of the approved clinics in Hong Kong.
If you’re ready to travel once again, you now have your chance to do so!
However, it’s always good to take the necessary precautions while travelling as COVID-19 is still the new reality.
For all the latest news, check out GoBear’s new travel resource hub for everything you need regarding travel.
And if you do decide to travel, be sure to choose the best travel insurance plan to cover your journey. GoBear is here to help!
The information in this article is accurate as of 23 Nov 2020 unless otherwise stated. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information accurate and updated, GoBear makes no representation or warranties for the accuracy of the information in this article or content of any websites which may be linked.
The information in this article is based off publicly-available information on insurer websites, GoBear makes no representation or warranties for the availability of the mentioned products and options – not all products and options may be available to the public or segment thereof at any point of time.
This article is for informational and promotional purposes only; it does not constitute advice or recommendation and does not take into account your own individual circumstances. The information in this article may not be updated and you should always refer to the relevant Policy Wording and insurer for the full terms and conditions. In the event of any inconsistency, the Policy Wording and/or information from the insurer shall prevail.