Singapore and Hong Kong were first set to open a Travel Bubble between the two cities back in late 2020 (read more here) that was burst by dancing classes for older ladies by younger males in Hong Kong.
The talks resumed last month and it was announced in late April (read more here) that the new Travel Bubble would begin on May 26, 2021, that has now been canned too due to rising Covid-19 cases in Singapore.
Here’s the problem with the Bubble:
The ATB will be suspended for at least 14 days if the seven-day moving average of the daily number of unlinkedlocal COVID-19 cases (excluding dormitory resident cases in Singapore) is more than five in either Singapore or Hong Kong. The suspension will take effect after two days (including the day on which the criteria was met)for a two-week period.
The ATB can resume on the next day when the following two criteria have been met:
(I) the seven-day moving average of the daily number of unlinked local COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong and Singapore does not exceed five on the last day of the 14-day suspension period or any subsequent day;and
(ii) after criterion (i) is met, subsequently there are three consecutive days where the daily number of unlinked local COVID-19 cases does not exceed three in Hong Kong and Singapore, and the seven-day moving average of the daily number of unlinked local COVID-19 cases on the last day of the three consecutive days does not exceed five in both places.
The bubble bursts if there is a small number of cases wither in Singapore or Hong Kong.
Here’s an excerpt from the SCMP:
The long-awaited travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong has been put on hold for a second time amid a sharp resurgence in untraceable Covid-19 cases in the city state, the two governments have said.
Monday’s decision to suspend the quarantine-free corridor, which had been set to launch on May 26, followed a morning meeting between Hong Kong commerce minister Edward Yau Tang-wah and Singapore transport minister S. Iswaran.
A further announcement will be made on or before June 13, when Singapore’s current round of anti-pandemic measures are due to expire. The two cities will continue to exchange data and closely review developments, a Hong Kong government statement said.
And the Straits Times:
Both cities had said the air travel bubble would be suspended when the seven-day moving average of unlinked community cases in either Singapore or Hong Kong increases to more than five.
As at Sunday, the seven-day moving average of unlinked community cases in Singapore had increased to almost five. There were also dozens of other linked cases in the community.
Former transport minister Ong Ye Kung, who is now Health Minister, had said last Friday that it is very likely that Singapore will not be able to meet the criteria to kick off the bubble.
Here’s what has transpired so far:
Previously, the bubble was called off due to cases in Hong Kong and this time the culprit is Singapore.
These bubbles won’t work unless countries allow reasonable number of Covid-19 cases in the community because the virus won’t go away anytime soon.
Let’s see if the third attempt of the bubble sometime later this year is successful.