We thought we were out of the woods, but we seem to have stumbled into another forest.
Not too long ago, the authorities were talking about opening up due to the increasing number of residents getting vaccinated and lower community case numbers.
But then infections started rising for the 765th time and the government was once again forced to reimpose coronavirus-related restrictions.
While some of us are frustrated at not being able to see our friends and family, others (me) only have one thing in mind: travelling.
Well, unsurprisingly, we won’t be travelling anytime soon.
SG-HK Travel Bubble Will be Reviewed in End-August 2021 Instead
By now, the phrase “travel bubble” must make you boil with rage. So I shall refer to the arrangement as a travel corridor for now.
It seems that our proposed travel corridor with Hong Kong, which has been delayed numerous times, will be reviewed towards the end of August this year.
The Singapore and Hong Kong authorities have jointly agreed to resume talks on the air travel corridor only when the COVID-19 situation improves.
“Both parties will remain in close contact and monitor the public health situation in both places before taking stock in late August on the ATB,” Singapore’s Ministry of Transport said yesterday (20 July).
A Frustrating Timeline
If you cast your mind back to 2000BC, or 11 Nov 2020, as some of us know it, Singapore and Hong Kong announced they were forming the world’s first air travel corridor.
Both countries rejoiced, but their joy was quickly snatched away as the corridor was postponed due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong.
Then, in April this year, it was announced that the corridor would finally commence on 26 May, 2021.
Shortly after, Singapore experienced a huge spike in community cases and we had to call the travel corridor off again.
When the outbreak abated, the authorities said the corridor would be reviewed in early July, but then certain people visited certain satay stalls, and we were pushed back to square one.
Conditions For Air Travel Bubble to Launch
In case you forgot, in order for the air travel bubble to go ahead, two main conditions must be satisfied:
- There must be three consecutive days when the daily number of unlinked cases in both cities does not exceed three
- The seven-day moving average of unlinked infections should not exceed five cases in both cities on the last of these three consecutive days
With the recent surge in Singapore leading to an all time high of community cases yesterday – 182 infections – a spokesman for the Hong Kong government said the condition for launching the travel corridor “could not be met for the time being”.
In reviewing the corridor, the Hong Kong authorities said it will have to consider the effectiveness of infection control measures here, as well as the global COVID-19 situation.
Until then, we’ll have to put our luggage bags away, put our passports back into our dusty drawers, and avoid satay stalls.
To know more about vaccine passports, watch this video to the end:
- 10 Must-Know Updates from the 20 July COVID-19 Press Conference Whereby We’ll Go Back to P2HA from 22 July
- 3 Key Reasons Why S’pore is Back to P2HA & It’s Not Just Due to Rising COVID-19 Cases
Featured Image: Yung Chi Wai Derek / Shutterstock.com