What we might see with the next bubble
Based on what we saw with the previous plans, here are a few things that can be considered when the travel bubble for Hong Kong and Singapore is finally announced:
- A negative PCR test result required before traveling. This has been a baseline requirement for most international travel in recent months.
- It is expected that testing upon arrival will also be required.
- Previously, Singapore had wanted arrivals to self isolate upon arrival, pending further test results.
- The downloading of a tracing app may be required.
- A daily limit on the number of travelers. Previously, the bubble would have allowed up to 200 people to travel in each direction per day without undergoing quarantine. This capacity would have doubled after two weeks if the operation runs smoothly.
- Previously, transit passengers were to be banned from the bubble flights.
- And, as mentioned above, the possibility of a vaccine requirement by one or both sides.
Naturally, a restart of business travel between Hong Kong and Singapore would be welcome news for flag carriers Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines. With neither having domestic traffic, the global health crisis has taken a severe toll on both carriers’ operations.