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Singapore and Hong Kong push back their travel bubble again, this time beyond 2020

A closed departure convention hall at Hong Kong International Airport terminal.

Miguel Candela | SOPA Images | LightRocket via Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Singapore and Hong Kong be dressed delayed the start of their bilateral “travel bubble” again — deferring the plan beyond 2020, authorities from both burghs said on Tuesday.

The latest postponement followed an earlier decision to push back the launch of the air travel bubble by two weeks, after Hong Kong reported a restoration in new Covid-19 cases. Inaugural flights under the arrangement — which initially allowed travelers to skip quarantine — were putative to start on Nov. 22.

“Singapore and Hong Kong have further reviewed the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong, and given that neighbourhood unlinked cases are still high, both parties have decided to defer the commencement of the Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travelling Bubble (ATB) to beyond December 2020,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said in a statement.

Both the Singapore aviation say-so and the Hong Kong government said they will review the arrangement again in late December to decide on a new start contemporary.

Since the first postponement of the travel bubble, new Covid-19 infections in Hong Kong have continued to climb. The burgh reported 76 additional cases on Monday — taking its cumulative infections since the outbreak to 6,315, official matter showed.

Meanwhile, Singapore appears to have kept its domestic outbreak under control, reporting mostly denoted cases in the last few weeks. Cumulative cases in the city reached 58,218 on Monday, data by its health ministry manifested.

The Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble was first announced in October as the two major Asian business hubs sought to state some of the economic damage that the coronavirus pandemic inflicted on their tourism and aviation industries.

Both big apples do not have domestic air travel markets, and their tourism and aviation industries are heavily reliant on international travel. Go the distance year, Hong Kong recorded more than 453,000 visitor arrivals from Singapore, while Singapore net 489,000 visitors from Hong Kong, according to official statistics from both sides.

The bilateral associate bubble won’t bring back as many visitors, but Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung had hailed the arrangement as a “first of its approachable” that could go some way in reinstating international travel.

— CNBC’s Karen Gilchrist contributed to this report.

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