Ready to get out of the country? Next stop: Hong Kong! Here’s what we know so far about the 2021 Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble
You’re not dreaming, this is real. Singapore residents can finally travel to Hong Kong for leisure! This comes after the initial travel bubble announcement back in October 2020, which was cancelled on the day it was due to commence due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong.
We take a look at the rules to find out if it’s worth packing our bags and getting excited about the Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble (ATB) from 26 May 2021. Some of the answers to the big questions are still yet to be released so we will keep you posted as more details are revealed…
What is the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble?
The ‘Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble’ means general travellers can commute between the two countries without the need for controlled itineraries and no restrictions on the purpose of travel. Flights will only ferry passengers traveling under the bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore, and will not include those transiting through either of the cities.
Anyone who has remained in Singapore or Hong Kong in the last 14 consecutive days prior to travelling is eligible. However, holders of work permits or S Passes in the construction, marine shipyard or process sectors are excluded.
When will the SG-HK travel bubble be open?
The SG-HK travel bubble was set to open from 26 May 2021.
What’s required before going to Hong Kong?
You must test negative on the COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests within 72 hours before your scheduled departure time. This includes children as well. You’ll need a flight ticket from Singapore to Hong Kong on one of the flights designated by the Hong Kong Government and Singapore Government under the ATB.
Upon your arrival, you will also have to take a COVID-19 test at the Hong Kong International Airport. You must remain in the airport until you receive your negative test results.
Will you need to quarantine when travelling to Hong Kong?
No. Visitors will not need to serve quarantine.
What do I need to know before returning to Singapore?
According to ICA, after staying in Hong Kong, travellers may return to Singapore using the ATB or proceed on to another country/region. For travellers returning to Singapore on the ATB, there is no need to apply for an Air Travel Pass to enter Singapore. Long-Term Pass holders however, will have to seek entry approval before travelling to Singapore (LTVP holders can apply via the Work Pass Holder General Lane, Student’s Pass Holder Lane or Familial Ties Lane depending on their pass type). Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Long-Term Pass holders may take either a flight designated by the Singapore Government and Hong Kong Government under the ATB or a non-designated flight. They must ensure that they meet the requirements of the type of flight that they are taking.
What if I contract Covid-19 while travelling between SG-HK?
Travellers who contract Covid-19 in Hong Kong will have to bear the full cost of medical treatment. Short-term visitors flying from Hong Kong to Singapore must buy travel insurance with a minimum coverage of $30,000 for Covid-19-related medical costs.
In the meantime, we’ve listed out a quick primer of do’s and don’ts in HK!
Hong Kong’s Covid-19 rules
Face Masks: You must wear a mask in public and on public transportation such as trains, buses and cabs. Face masks do not have to be worn in places like country parks or when exercising. The penalty for breaching this rule is up to HK$10,000.
Dining Out: You’re advised to download the LeaveHomeSafe app for contact tracing. There is a cap of six patrons per table at eateries and restaurants (where all staff have had at least the first shot of the vaccine). Bars and pubs have reopened. Masks have to be worn at all times within any restaurant, bar or pub except when you’re consuming food or drink. You’ll get your temperature taken before entering the premises.
Leisure Activities: Public beaches have reopened. Amusement game centres, gyms, leisure venues such as bowling alleys and billiard tables, cinemas, party rooms, beauty and massage parlours, karaoke lounges and mahjong houses are open but general rules apply, including the mandatory wearing of masks. Registered local Hong Kong tour groups may operate in groups of up to 30 people, with social distancing measures and temperature checks in place.
Events: If you have a family member or close friend getting married in Hong Kong, good news! Wedding ceremonies can host up to 20 guests, albeit without banquets, and no food or drinks allowed at ceremonies.
Public Gatherings: Public gatherings continue to be capped at four people during this period. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of HK$25,000 and imprisonment for six months. Those who take part in prohibited group gatherings may discharge liability for the offence by paying a fixed penalty of HK$5,000.
Check back as we keep you updated on the latest news on the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble! In the meantime, check out these handy HK guides by our mama friends at Sassy Mama Hong Kong: