Singapore and Hong Kong have postponed a planned Thursday announcement on an air-travel bubble, of which the cancellation was said to be initiated by the Singapore side, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bloomberg reported earlier today (22 Apr) that the sources – who asked not to be identified as they were not authorised to speak publicly on the matter – claimed there was no reason given for the delay in the announcement, and that a new date has yet to be confirmed.
One of the people said that the cancellation was initiated by the Singapore side.
Initially, the air travel bubble was supposed to start last November but was deferred after a spike in COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong.
It was reported on 2 Apr that the Government of Hong Kong has barred Singapore Airlines (SIA) passenger flights to land in Hong Kong from 3 April to 16 April, after a passenger flying from Singapore to Hong Kong on 31 March was confirmed to have COVID-19.
Subsequently, on 14 Apr, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung noted that both countries are “finalising details” on the revised agreement to start the air travel bubble between the two cities, and hope to announce the plans “soon”.
His announcement was made a day after Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said that only those who have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus will be allowed to fly from Hong Kong to Singapore under the travel bubble.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Singapore Government told ST on Thursday (22 Apr) that discussions between the two countries are ongoing and an announcement will be made “in due course”.
Though it is unclear what causes the delay in the announcement, the postponement came after the Singapore Manpower Ministry (MOM) said on Wednesday (21 Apr) that 11 migrant workers staying at Westlite Woodlands dormitory tested positive for the virus.
The outbreak came after a 35-year-old Bangladeshi worker, who stays in the same dormitory, tested positive for the virus on Monday (19 Apr), despite he had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.