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Hong Kong-Singapore air travel bubble postponed

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The association is supposed to permit vacationers between the 2 cities to journey with out having to serve a quarantine so long as they full coronavirus checks.

HONG KONG (AP) — Singapore and Hong Kong on Saturday postponed the beginning of an air journey bubble meant to spice up tourism for each cities, amid a spike in coronavirus infections in Hong Kong.

The journey bubble, initially slated to start Sunday, will likely be delayed by at the least two weeks, Hong Kong’s minister of commerce and financial improvement, Edward Yau, stated at a information convention.

The association is supposed to permit vacationers between the 2 cities to journey with out having to serve a quarantine so long as they full coronavirus checks earlier than and after arriving at their locations, and fly on designated flights.

Hong Kong reported 43 new coronavirus instances on Saturday, together with 13 untraceable native infections.

“For any scheme to achieve success, they have to fulfill the situation of securing public well being, and in addition be sure that each side could be snug and really feel secure concerning the scheme,” Yau stated. “In mild of the scenario in Hong Kong, I believe it’s the accountable method to put this again for some time, after which kind of relaunch it at an acceptable juncture.”

Beneath the preliminary settlement, the air journey bubble was to be suspended if the variety of untraceable native infections in both Singapore or Hong Kong exceeded 5 on a seven-day shifting common. The present common of unlinked instances in Hong Kong is almost 4.

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Though the typical of 5 had not been reached in Hong Kong as of Saturday, the bubble was postponed after Yau and Singapore’s transport minister, Ong Ye Kung, held discussions.

The postponement got here after Hong Kong’s high well being official stated Friday that the town had “in all probability entered” a brand new wave of instances.

Current clusters of native infections within the metropolis have spanned taxi drivers, a dance studio and lodges.

Hong Kong has confirmed a complete of 5,561 instances, together with 108 deaths. Singapore has reported 58,148 instances, however solely 28 fatalities.

Previous to the postponement, Singapore stated Saturday morning that vacationers arriving from Hong Kong by way of the bubble could be required to take a coronavirus take a look at on arrival. Initially, solely folks touchdown in Hong Kong have been to be required to be examined.

Ong stated in a Fb put up that the postponement is a “sober reminder that the COVID-19 virus continues to be with us.”

“I can totally perceive the frustration and frustration of travellers who’ve deliberate their journeys. However we predict it’s higher to defer from a public well being standpoint,” he wrote.

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