The first charter flight of an “air travel bubble” between Hong Kong and Singapore will take off on 22 November, with the quarantine-free scheme to start with one daily flight into each city each day, the Hong Kong SAR government announced on Wednesday.
The number of passengers will be limited to 200 per flight, while the number of flights will increase to two flights every day from 7 December if the situation remains stable. Passengers must submit negative COVID-19 virus test results within 72 hours before their departure, and must also confirm they have stayed in Hong Kong or Singapore for the previous 14 days.
Travelers returning from Singapore must undertake another COVID-19 test at designated lanes at Hong Kong International Airport. They must also pay HK$499 for the test and wait for around four hours for the result in a restricted area.
Travelers between the two jurisdictions will not be subject to quarantine arrangements upon arrival, nor any restrictions to their travel itineraries.
However, if local transmissions in Hong Kong or Singapore rise to over five cases per day over the course of a week, the travel bubble would be postponed for two weeks. If the number of cases then dropped back below five after the two week period the arrangement would be resumed.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong residents who are staying in Macau and Guangdong Province will now be exempt from 14-day quarantine measures when returning to Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong government will allow up to 5,000 Hong Kong residents to return home in this first stage, with 3,000 for the Shenzhen Bay Port and 2,000 for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge border. Applications will be accepted from 18 November and the scheme will launch on 23 November.
Qualified residents must show negative virus test results in mutually recognized facilities obtained 72 hours before departure. They must also show “green” health code within 24 hours of arrival.
However, the Macau SAR government and the mainland China authority clarified that Hong Kong’s latest entry policy is only one-way – people returning from Hong Kong must still enter quarantine for 14 days for the time being.