A troubling rise in Covid-19 cases in Singapore is temporarily pausing the launch of the much-anticipated air travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong as safe conditions could not be met, said a spokesperson for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The air travel bubble between the two Asian destinations was first announced in November, but with the unpredictability of the global pandemic, the inaugural flight has continually been delayed.
“The Governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Singapore are keeping the developments of the Covid-19 epidemic situation, particularly in Singapore, under review to decide on the way forward for the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble (ATB),” the Hong Kong government said in a statement on Tuesday.
Singapore is currently experiencing an outbreak in cases originating at karaoke or KTV clubs and other venues, prompting the Singaporean government to issue heightened restrictions that include working remotely and maximum groups of two people, the Singapore ministry of health announced on its website.
“We will therefore be further tightening community safe management measures by going back to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). The following measures will take effect from 22 July 2021 through 18 August 2021 and will supersede those that were introduced on 19 July 2021,” the Singaporean Ministry of Health said on its website. “We will do a review of the measures two weeks after implementation, and will adjust further based on the infection situation at that time.”
Depending on the global pandemic situation and taking into account the effectiveness of the enhanced global infection control measures by Singapore, both governments will revisit a new date for the air travel bubble in August, a spokesperson said.