A new travel balloon between Singapore and Hong Kong was scheduled to start on November 22 (tomorrow), but it was postponed only hours before the launch.
Why the travel balloon is postponed
One of the conditions of this new travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong was that it could be stopped in case one of the destinations saw an increase in untraceable cases of coronavirus. There has always been a risk that this will eventually be overturned, although most people probably did not expect this to happen with the release.
The Minister of Transport of Singapore announced this today the launch of the travel balloon will be delayed by at least two weeks. This decision was made after the number of new coronavirus cases increased in Hong Kong in recent days ̵
The new launch date has yet to be determined on the basis of developments, as no final decision has been taken. Travelers can still continue their travels, although they should do so under the old rules, which will require a seven-day quarantine.
The announcement of the travel balloon delay came shortly after Singapore announced that an additional coronavirus test would be required on arrival in Singapore, meaning passengers would have to take up to four coronavirus tests to travel as part of that arrangement. .
The travel balloon was canceled the day before the launch
How the travel balloon was supposed to work
As a main context, both Singapore and Hong Kong have done a great job of keeping coronavirus cases low. Both places have mostly kept their borders closed to visitors. With the balloon travel concept, passengers can switch between the two places without the typical quarantine.
However, there are many limitations:
- Passengers will have to fly special balloon flights so as not to mix with transit passengers; as part of the arrangement, there were a maximum of 200 daily passengers
- You will need up to four coronavirus tests (and this is also expensive) to participate in this, including pre- and post-trip tests at both ends
There is no denying that the focus of this travel bubble minimizes risk and does not make travel easy and affordable, and rightly so. But it also shows you that even with so many precautions, this concept was at risk even before launch. At present, the risks associated with international travel do not only apply to places where the coronavirus is not well managed.
I’ll be curious to see if the new travel bubble actually launches in a few weeks or if this concept just doesn’t work.
The travel balloon had to be limited to 200 people a day
As of tomorrow, Singapore and Hong Kong were to launch a travel balloon concept that allows passengers to skip quarantine while doing many tests. This concept relied on not even a minimal jump in the cases, and unfortunately this is something that happened just before the start.
It is assumed that many people have already paid for coronavirus tests for their departures tomorrow, so they are not ready for anything. We hope that at least they will be able to cancel hotels and activities without sanctions.
I will be curious to see if this concept really happens in a few weeks or it will take much longer than that.
Are you surprised that this travel bubble was postponed before it even started?