Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble: What are the requirements and how are designated flights arranged?
Good news! The Hong Kong government officially announced the relaunch of the bilateral "Air Travel Bubble" (ATB) agreement with Singapore on April 26th. Both city-states agree to begin their first designated ATB flights on May 26th. Soon, Hong Kongers who are itching to travel can find relief! Today at Kwiksure, we'll take a look at the requirements and flight arrangements for the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble.
Background of the Air Travel Bubble arrangement
The Hong Kong government first set up this arrangement with Singapore in November of last year. Having said that, as the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the SAR, this plan was forced to delay until they announced a restart on April 26th.
Who is eligible for the Air Travel Bubble?
To be eligible for the ATB, all travelers must:
- Be currently in Hong Kong and Singapore, regardless of their nationality
- Have remained in Hong Kong or Singapore in the last 14 days prior to their departure. Within these 14 days, they must not have undergone any mandatory quarantine or Stay-Home Notice (SHN) due to their return to the city-states from overseas
- Take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 72 hours before their departure of which the result must be negative. Only tests from recognized institutions are accepted.
- For Hong Kong citizens, they must have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for at least 14 days to be eligible to take a designated flight to Singapore. Note that four groups of people are excluded: citizens 16 years or younger, those who haven't taken the jab due to health reasons, those who have stayed in Hong Kong for less than 90 days prior to their flight to Singapore, and departing travelers whose visas were not issued in Hong Kong
- Must arrive at their destination via an ATB designated flight
Air Travel Bubble COVID-19 health protection measures
Here are several ways both city-states aim to protect ATB-eligible travelers and their citizens from COVID-19.
1. Health screening requirements
You must receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test result that is recognized by both city-states (to be taken 72 hours pre-departure). Upon arrival at both the Singapore and Hong Kong airports, you must take the test again.
2. Designated flights
These flights will only carry passengers participating in the ATB. They won't accept any transfer passengers or non-ATB passengers.
3. Designated arrival tunnels
Hong Kong International airport is equipped with a designated tunnel where ATB travelers can be tested and go through the immigration procedures.
Other requirements for travelers going to Singapore from Hong Kong
See below for any additional requirements.
For all travelers
- Upon your arrival in Singapore, you must fill in and hand in your SG Arrival Card (Singapore's electronic landing card) within 3 days.
- Pre-departure, make a reservation for an arrival PCR test to be taken at the Singapore airport.
As soon as you've completed the above, take private transportation, such as a taxi or a private hire car directly from the airport to your declared place of accommodation. You must then self-isolate until you receive a notice of your negative test result before you are allowed to continue on with your journey.
For those who aren't a Singapore resident, and aren't holders of a Permanent Resident or Long-Term Pass
- Apply for an Air Travel Pass 7 to 30 days pre-departure.
- Download and register to use the "TraceTogether" mobile phone application. During your time in Singapore, you must keep the app opened at all times.
- Also, when you leave Singapore, keep the app and all its data for 14 days.
For travelers with a Singapore Long-Term Pass
- You must obtain an entry permit from the relevant Singapore authorities, otherwise you may be refused entry.
Designated flights arrangement
Here is the ATB schedule for the next couple of months.
May 26th 2021 (first flight) to June 9th 2021
Hong Kong to Singapore: 1 flight per day, 200 passengers per flight
Singapore to Hong Kong: 1 flight per day, 200 passengers per flight
June 10th 2021 onwards
Hong Kong to Singapore: 2 flights per day, 200 passengers per flight
Singapore to Hong Kong: 2 flights per day, 200 passengers per flight
(The number of flights will be evenly distributed among Hong Kong and Singapore airlines.)
Changes to or suspension of the Air Travel Bubble arrangement
As the COVID-19 situations in both Hong Kong and Singapore fluctuate, there's a chance they may restart the following suspension measures:
- If the latest 7-day moving average (7DMA) number of unlinked local cases in Singapore or Hong Kong exceeds 5 cases per day, the ATB arrangement will be suspended after two days for a period of two weeks.
- The ATB arrangement can be relaunched if it meets the following two requirements:
- The 7DMA of local unlinked cases in Singapore and Hong Kong stop at the last day of the past 2 weeks or doesn't exceed 5 cases per day, and
- After meeting (i), Singapore and Hong Kong must maintain the number of unlinked local cases at or below 3 per day for 3 consecutive days, and the 7DMA of unlinked local cases on the 3rd day doesn't exceed 5 cases per day.
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