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Singapore examines travel bubble with Hong Kong as Covid-19 cases rise

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The Singapore government is reviewing its travel bubble plan with Hong Kong following a spike in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks that has triggered a tightening of social distancing rules in the city-state .

“We will monitor the situation and we will review and assess whether or not there will be any changes,” said Lawrence Wong, the education minister who co-chairs the Singapore government’s virus task force, as quoted by Bloomberg. Singapore and Hong Kong authorities are in contact, he added.

Singapore on Tuesday evening announced new Covid-19 restrictions for the next three weeks to slow the spread of the Indian variant of the virus which has shut down parts of the public hospital in recent weeks. The measures include limiting social gatherings to a maximum of five people from the previous eight, and capping the number of employees who can return to the office to 50% of staff who can work from home, up from 75%, according to the Ministry of Health. Health.

The new restrictions come as Singapore and Hong Kong prepare to launch a travel bubble that would allow travel between the two cities to resume on May 26.

The travel bubble, which was postponed last year following an increase in Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong, was to proceed cautiously with one flight per day in each direction carrying a maximum of 200 passengers on each flight during the two first few weeks. The plan was to upgrade to two flights per day from June 10.

While travelers are not required to quarantine under the travel bubble, passengers on both sides must test negative for Covid-19 before boarding flights and will undergo further testing upon arrival. . Hong Kong passport holders should also be fully immunized before traveling.

Singapore and Hong Kong could decide to postpone the travel bubble again if the threshold of a seven-day moving average of five or less unrelated community cases in either city is crossed, Wong said over the weekend. -end in the Straits Times.

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