The launch of the air travel bubble (ATB) between Singapore and Hong Kong which will allow for quarantine-free travel between the two cities will be deferred for a second time, following a spike in Covid-19 cases in Singapore.

The decision to delay the ATB 10 days before its launch on May 26 was made during a meeting on Monday (May 17) between Singapore’s transport minister S Iswaran and Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development Edward Yau, Singapore’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) said in a statement on Monday.

“Both sides remain strongly committed to launching the ATB safely. However, in the light of the recent increase in unlinked community cases, Singapore is unable to meet the criteria to start the Singapore-Hong Kong ATB,” it said.

MOT added that the two cities will decide on the new launch date of the ATB towards the end of phase two (heightened alert) in Singapore, which is slated to end on June 13.

Both cities had said the ATB would be suspended when the seven-day moving average of unlinked community cases in either Singapore or Hong Kong increases to more than five.

As at Sunday, Singapore reported 38 community cases, bringing the seven-day moving average of unlinked community cases to nearly five.

The ATB was first planned to take off on November 22, but a surge in Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong put the plan on hold.

source : ttgasia