Why I ain’t going nowhere

For now, like the bubble itself, the celebratory balloons at Hong Kong International Airport will have to be deflated, the Heinemann welcoming gifts set aside.

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HONG KONG/SINGAPORE. The much-anticipated Air Travel Bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore that was set to launch tomorrow (Sunday 22 November) has been postponed for two weeks, following a continued surge in Hong Kong’s COVID-19 cases.

Hong Kong health authorities reported 43 new cases today, 13 of which were untraceable, and over 60 preliminary infections.

In a statement today, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore(CAAS) said: “Given the evolving COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong, Singapore Minister for Transport, Ong Ye Kung, has announced that the launch of the Singapore – Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble flights will be deferred by two weeks.

“This decision was reached following a discussion between Minister Ong and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, Edward Yau, earlier today. This is to safeguard public health in both cities as well as travellers’ own health.

Singapore and Hong Kong will review the new launch date of the Air Travel Bubble flights within two weeks. An update will be provided at a later date, CAAS said.

The scene at Hong Kong International Airport as preparations were made for the launch of the Air Travel Bubble tomorrow. Those plans have now been stalled for at least two weeks.

Disappointment too for Heinemann Asia Pacific, which was preparing to welcome the first Air Travel Bubble visitors from Singapore to Hong Kong International Airport tomorrow

Travellers may still continue their journey on non-designated ATB flights. However, such travellers will be subject to the prevailing border control and health requirements of both cities. For example, Singapore residents returning from Hong Kong will be subject to a 7-day Stay-Home Notice upon entry into Singapore.

The Moodie Davitt Report Chairman Martin Moodie was due to fly to Singapore on 27 November. That will not happen as Singapore Airlines informed him today.

Leading Hong Kong and Singapore media, The South China Morning Post (above) and The Straits Times (below) lead on the breaking news this evening local time