Early on in November, the idea of travelling might’ve been an almost realised dream.
Mostly thanks to the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble.
It was basically a way for citizens of both countries to travel across without the need for quarantine and was supposed to begin on 22 Nov.
Was being the keyword here.
Reality is here to burst our bubble because, despite all the hype, the travel bubble is getting deferred again.
SG-HK Travel Bubble Won’t Start in 2020
Or more specifically, delayed till next year.
Before that, the delay was only supposed to for two weeks, into the first weeks of December.
At one point, it was even supposed to proceed as planned on 22 Nov.
However, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said today (1 December) that the travel bubble will be deferred “beyond December”.
The exact start date will be reviewed in late December.
What’s the reason? You guessed it, our not-so-good friend COVID-19 and its rapidly increasing cases in Hong Kong.
Cases in Hong Kong
The number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore has been generally controlled.
In fact, we also have one of the lowest death counts at 29 deaths from the virus.
However, the same cannot be said about Hong Kong.
Over the last few weeks, the country suddenly had an increasing trend of unlinked cases.
It got so bad to the point where face-to-face activities in kindergartens and childcare centres had to stop, all the way to 27 Nov.
In-person classes for primary one to three students had to be stopped for two weeks as well from 23 Nov.
Then, just yesterday, it was also reported that Hong Kong had a whooping 76 new cases appear.
This brought the country’s cases to over 6,300 total since the start, with 109 deaths.
Imagine thinking 2020 was going to end smoothly.
More Tight Measures Taken
Shortly after, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the closure of many common areas starting 2 Dec.
These included: game centres, karaoke lounges and swimming pools.
And if you thought our five-person social gatherings were tough, Hong Kong can now only have two-person gatherings.
Gyms are still open, but the two-person only rule also applied there.
Most civil servants were made to work from home, and all schools will be closed for the rest of the year starting on Wednesday.
Lam also stated that the penalty for breaking the new rules could see fines rise to HK$4,000, or roughly S$691.90.
She states that the next two weeks will ‘be very critical’.
Meanwhile, CAAS advises passengers to contact their airlines regarding travel plans.
“The Singapore and Hong Kong authorities have been in close discussion and will update when there are further developments.”
Image: Yung Chi Wai Derek / Shutterstock.com (Image is for illustration purpose only)