The Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble: Salient Features

Posted by Written by Ayman Falak Medina Reading Time: 4 minutes
  • From November 22, 2020, the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble will come into effect, allowing short-term visitors to travel between both countries.
  • Visitors will have to adhere to strict health protocols, such as taking a COVID-19 PCR test before departure, and in the case of traveling to Hong Kong, taking another test upon arrival.
  • Singapore has already established similar travel bubbles with China, Brunei, Australia, Vietnam, and New Zealand.

Singapore will allow the entry of short-term travelers from Hong Kong starting from November 22, 2020, under the Air Travel Pass (ATP) program.

The travel bubble enables travel between both countries without the need for long-term quarantine or other restrictive control measures. The ATP system allows visitors from countries deemed as ‘low-risk’ for COVID-19 infection. So far, Singapore has established ATP agreements with China,  BruneiAustraliaVietnam, and New Zealand.

In addition to the ATP program, Singapore has established ‘regional green lanes’ to facilitate business and official travel for countries deemed ‘high-risk’. These include:

The Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble will begin with one flight per day into each city taking some 200 passengers. From December 7, this will increase to two flights a day.

Flying from Hong Kong to Singapore

How do you apply for an ATP?

Applicants from Hong Kong, who are short-term visitors, can apply for an ATP to enter Singapore. To do so, applicants should visit the ATP website.

It is important to note that applications must be made between seven and 30 days prior to entry into Singapore. The traveler must also have remained in Hong Kong at least 14 days before the departure date.

When the ATP is approved, an approval letter will be sent via email, which must be shown to the immigration authorities upon arrival. The ATP is valid from the date of entry and up to seven calendar days after. A traveler can only obtain a visa (if required) once they have acquired the ATP.

Pre-departure requirements

Prior to traveling to Singapore, the applicant must undergo a COVID-19 PCR test no less than 72 hours before departure. The test must be carried out in a testing institution recognized by the Hong Kong government, which can be found here. The certificate must state the traveler is negative for the disease.

The applicant must also book flight tickets designated by the Singaporean and Hong Kong governments. These are:

November 22, 2020 (inaugural flight)

CX759 (HKG–SIN) operated by Cathay Pacific Airways

From November 23, onwards

  • CX759 (HKG–SIN) operated by Cathay Pacific Airways; and
  • SQ891 (HKG–SIN) operated by Singapore Airlines.

Visitors are not guaranteed a flight ticket on the aforementioned flights despite having their ATP approved. Travelers are responsible for obtaining their own flight tickets.

Travelers must download and submit the SG Arrival Card, which details the applicant’s health and travel history, as well as the place of accommodation in Singapore. In addition, travelers must download the TraceTogether app, which is designed to assist with contact tracing.

At check-in in Hong Kong, visitors must have the following documents ready:

  • An ATP approval letter;
  • Visa (if applicable);
  • A COVID-19 PCR test result certificate; and
  • The TraceTogether app downloaded on a mobile device.

Arrival and stay in Singapore

Visitors should also present the aforementioned items to immigration officials upon arrival in Singapore.

During their stay, all visitors must adhere to any prevailing healthcare protocols, which include the wearing of masks. The TraceTogether app must be activated throughout their time in Singapore as well as up to 14 days after leaving the country.

If the traveler contracts COVID-19 while in Singapore, they are required to bear the full costs of any applicable treatment and isolation imposed by healthcare officials.

Flying from Singapore to Hong Kong

Those eligible to fly to Singapore must have stayed in Hong Kong at least 14 days prior to departure on a designated flight.

S Pass permit holders or other work permit holders issued by the Singaporean Ministry of Manpower working in the marine shipyard, construction, or process sectors are not eligible to travel to Hong Kong under this arrangement.

Pre-departure requirements

Prior to departure, applicants should apply for a visa (if required) and undergo a COVID-19 test in a government-designated testing center, no more than 72 hours before departure.

The applicants should then submit an online health declaration form, which in turn will generate a QR code. This code is valid for 48 hours and will be scanned upon arrival in Hong Kong.

Applicants must also book and pre-pay for another COVID-19 test, which will be conducted upon arrival in Hong Kong. More information can be found here. Upon completion, the system will generate another QR code.

Visitors should present the following during check-in at Singapore Changi Airport:

  • QR code of health declaration;
  • Visa (if applicable);
  • A COVID-19 PCR test result certificate; and
  • QR code for the COVID-19 post-arrival test booking.

Arrival and stay in Hong Kong

Upon arrival in Hong Kong, the traveler will undergo another COVID-19 PCR test, whose results they will have to wait for at the airport. This should take no longer than four hours. The traveler will be notified by SMS and email.

All visitors must abide by prevailing health protocols set by the Hong Kong government at all times.

Editor’s note: As of November 22, the launch of the travel bubble has been postponed due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. 

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