On October 24, 2020, crew members of Singapore Airlines at Changi International Airport in Singapore.
Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images
Singapore – Singapore and Hong Kong will proceed with their air travel arrangements on Sunday as planned, but additional precautionary measures will be taken in new coronovirus cases in Hong Kong.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore announced on Saturday that all passengers arriving from Hong Kong will now be required to take an additional Kovid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test upon arrival.
The aviation authority said that they would also need to self-segregate at their place of residence – be it a hotel or a house – they wait for results that would take about six to eight hours.
To be clear, all passengers in Hong Kong under the Air Travel Bubble Agreement were required to take the pre-departure Kovid-19 PCR test and obtain a negative test result before departing for Singapore.
“As noted, passengers will now undergo further COVID-19 PCR testing, according to the latest release from CAAS.”
The initial air travel bubble agreement announced on 11 November did not require any separation of passengers arriving from Hong Kong.
Hong Kong’s ‘new wave’
Hong Kong reported on Friday that the number of new daily cases increased to 26 and most of them were local infections.
“We have probably entered a new wave of cases,” said Sophia Chan, the city’s secretary for food and health, in a press briefing on Friday, citing experts at the Center for Health Protection.
She said the situation was “grave” and urged citizens to stop all unnecessary ceremonies.
Chief executive Carrie Lam said in a Facebook post that the government met late on Friday to finalize other contingency measures aimed at stopping the spread of the virus and would not rule out more stringent restrictions.
Hong Kong on Saturday imposed new restrictions, including a ban on clubs and party rooms, as well as a ban on live performances and dancing in bars and pubs. The government first announced that primary schools would be suspended for two weeks from Monday.
Travel officials from both sides have always said that if the situation in the city deteriorates, the deal will be suspended in the event of Kovid-19.
The Hong Kong-Singapore air travel bubble agreement is scheduled to begin on November 22, with one flight per city per day, limited to a maximum of 200 passengers per flight. The number of flights will increase only when the Kovid-19 spread in both cities remains under control.
The Aviation Authority of Singapore reiterated on Saturday that the air travel bubble would be “suspended if the seven-day moving average of illegal cases exceeds five per day.”
“The Hong Kong figure is currently 2.14,” CAAS said. “If there are more than 22 illegal cases in Hong Kong within the next three days, the threshold will be crossed. This will trigger a two-day notice period, after which the suspension will take effect.”
“Singapore and Hong Kong health officials are in close contact and monitoring the situation,” the aviation authority said.