HONG KONG – All passengers taking advantage of a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore should be vaccinated, the government of the territory proposed on Monday (March 29).

Talks on the much-delayed scheme have resumed, amid hopes that this is the right time as infections in Hong Kong taper off.

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said at a joint briefing that residents of the territory who take part in the bubble arrangement would need to have two vaccine doses and travel  14 days after the second jab, at the earliest.

“We have put forward the proposal to the Singapore Government and we’re waiting for a response, but I think it’s important that we first get things right on our side – that is, before people here in Hong Kong travel, they must first be vaccinated. This is for their own protection,” he said.

Mr Yau noted that Hong Kong’s seven-day moving average for Covid-19 infections had dropped to below five cases – a criterion for discussions to resume between the two cities.

He added: “If Hong Kong people are to travel, and if we are to start any travel bubble arrangements with other places, then vaccination will be a requirement. This is for our own protection. I believe that will be the trend around the world in the long run.”

This proposal comes on top of the initial agreement for passengers from both cities to be tested before departure and upon arrival.