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Sat, 21 November 2020

Hong Kong - Singapore Air Travel Bubble Suspended at Last Minute

UPDATED at 17:05 Bangkok time on 21/11/20: Minutes after the below article was published about Hong Kong travellers being required to take an additional COVID19 PCR test on arrival at Changi Airport in Singapore, it was announced that the Air Travel Bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore has been suspended.

The decision was taken after an even larger than expected spike of COVID19 cases in Hong Kong on Saturday.

The ATB, which had been scheduled to take off on Sunday, 22 November, will now not happen until sometime in December, at the earliest, after both cities review the situation.

Travellers can still continue their journey on non-designated ATB flights, though such travellers will be subject to the prevailing border control and health requirements of both cities.

More on this to come. /END OF UPDATE.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Hong Kong Travellers Now Required to Take Additional COVID19 Test On-Arrival at Changi

Because of an increase in the number of COVID19 cases in Hong Kong in recent days, all travellers from the city arriving in Singapore under the HK-SG Air Travel Bubble arrangement are now required to take an on-arrival COVID19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at Changi Airport.

Under the terms of the ATB, flights will be suspended if the seven-day moving average of unlinked cases exceeds five per day. The figure for Hong Kong is currently at 2.14. The threshold will be exceeded if there are more than 22 unlinked cases in Hong Kong over the next three days. This will trigger a two-day notice period, after which suspension will come into effect. Prevailing border measures a 7-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) in the case of travellers from Hong Kong will then apply upon entry into Singapore.

In the meantime, the Singapore - Hong Kong ATB arrangement will be launched as scheduled on 22 November 2020.

Arrivals sign at Changi Airport in Singapore. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

All travellers under the ATB are already required to take a pre-departure COVID19 PCR test and obtain a negative test result before departing for Singapore. Now they also have to undergo an on-arrival COVID19 PCR test.

The on-arrival COVID19 PCR test will cost S$196 (including GST) per traveller. However, to give travellers under the Singapore - Hong Kong ATB time to adjust to the sudden change, they will not need to pay for the on-arrival COVID19 PCR test for the first week, from 22 to 28 November 2020.

After the test, travellers must self-isolate in their place of residence, whether a hotel or a home (for Singapore Residents), while waiting for the results, which will take about six to eight hours. They are to take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car from the airport to their declared place of accommodation.

Given the evolving COVID19 situation, passengers travelling to Hong Kong are advised to stay vigilant, exercise precaution by avoiding crowded places and to adhere to Hong Kongs prevailing public health measures at all times. They are also advised to make contingency plans, because should the ATB be suspended, they may have to change their flights, and will have to undergo 7-day SHN upon return.

See latest Travel News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bubble, Quarantine.

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