Can’t wait to go on a holiday? Your dreams will soon come true, thanks to the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble...
We’ve got no complaints about living in Singapore – for real! Our lovely city is home to beautiful attractions, gorgeous gardens and even secret spots to discover. Not to mention plenty of amazing things to do, no matter if you’re on a budget or looking for free activities to keep entertained. But let’s be real. Staying on the island for all of 2020 has probably given you cabin fever and awakened your wanderlust. Longing for your next holiday? You’re in luck because the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble is on its way (along with Phase 3). Here’s what you need to know…
[24 Nov update: The travel bubble has been postponed for two weeks due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong.]
Guide to the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble
We’re lookin’ at you, November
You’ve heard the buzz. And now things are shaping up ‘cause the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble launches on 22 November. That’s right, mark your cals! You can expect to see one flight daily into each city, with 200 passengers each way. From 7 December, the number will increase to two flights a day.
Say goodbye to quarantine
Yup, leisure travel will be permitted between both cities with the magic words – no quarantine! That’s music to our ears because we all know how those two months of circuit breaker went… Never again (hopefully)!
Get ready to jet off!
From 23 to 29 November, Singapore Airlines will fly dedicated flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, while Cathay Pacific will take the other days. This schedule will be swapped from 30 November to 6 December. After that, both airlines will offer daily flights.
What will travel look like?
It’ll be different from pre-Covid times, but we’re cool with extra precautionary measures if that means protection for everyone. To allow for safe travel, requirements include testing negative for Covid-19 within 72 hours before your trip and boarding those dedicated flights between both destinations. Your holiday itinerary won’t be restricted, as both cities have strict measures to manage the virus, with Covid case numbers going down over time. (Who’s excited for a long weekend trip to Hong Kong Disneyland?!)
At least seven days before you depart from Singapore, you’ll have to apply to take your Pre-Departure Covid-19 PCR test and show your confirmed flight ticket to Hong Kong in the process. However, from 1 December onwards, you won’t need to apply for approval for the test. Once you arrive at Hong Kong International Airport, you’ll take another Covid-19 test and remain on the premises until you receive a negative test result.
Psst: Don’t forget to download and register for the TraceTogether app before you leave. You’ll have to keep it activated during your overseas stay and keep the app on your phone 14 days after leaving.
But do note that if you test positive for Covid-19 after your trip, you will have to pay the full cost of any medical treatment, depending on current medical and healthcare policies.
The future of the air travel bubble
Depending on how the situation develops, the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble can potentially see an increase or decrease in flights – or even get suspended if things take a turn for the worse. If the seven-day moving average of unconnected Covid-19 cases reaches more than five in either city, the bubble will be halted for two weeks and resume when the count goes down to five or less.
Still, we’re pretty psyched. There’s a light at the end of the 2020 tunnel after all!
Need some tips on what to do in Hong Kong? We’ve got you covered.
How to explore Hong Kong
1. Experience the best of the city
From hiking trails to heritage buildings, Hong Kong is a beautiful place to visit. It’s got all the nature adventures and buzzing districts to discover. If you’re planning a nice long vacation, add a couple of day trips to your itinerary or pop by some of its stunning islands for a quiet day out. Got kids? You can’t pass up free things to do with the fam. Psst: Luxuriate in those festive feels at Christmas events if you’re dreaming of a year-end trip!
2. Eat your way through top-notch restos
So you’ve already covered all the famous eateries. Well, betcha didn’t know these hot new restaurants are totally worth the trip! If cafe-hopping is your scene, we’ve got the coolest cafes in the city too. Same goes for brunch and high tea. Of course, dim sum is iconic in Hong Kong, but feel free to indulge in hearty burgers and fabulous cakes as well.
3. Cheers to the weekend!
Oh yes, it’s ladies’ night… and the feeling’s right! Gather your gal pals for a boozy weekend in Hong Kong, or hit up all the best happy hour spots for a holiday high. You’ll also want to tick these top bars off your bucket list, or perhaps spend an evening at art bars with paintings, photography and cocktails.
4. It’s all about art and culture
Show some love for the city’s vibrant arts scene and check out top Hong Kong bands that play everything from shoegaze to indie pop. Or go record shopping at vinyl stores around town. Cinemas, bookstores and live music joints also await!
5. Shop and pamper yourself
Fancy some retail therapy after a dark, dark year? Spend all your holiday cash at Hong Kong’s shopping malls for fashion, design and homeware. For a little indulgent sesh, head to the city’s best places for facials, affordable massages, hair treatments and mani-pedis.
If you can’t wait for the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble to kick in, start booking your hotels before everyone else!