Asia Flighs

Asian Bubbles and European Passports

The new air travel bubble from Singapore to Hong Kong has been taken up with enthusiasm, with all flights (1 a day May 26 to Jun 9) selling out the day after being announced.

There are some covid era restrictions in place:

  • 14 days in country before travelling
  • Negative PCR test results before departure and on arrival (with strict accommodations rules whilst awaiting test results for a couple of days)
  • health declaration and quarantine declaration forms
  • Masks onboard and in-country
  • Mandatory app download to log visits (like the NHS tracker app)
  • Singapore work permit or S-Pass holders working in the construction, marine shipyard, or process sectors are excluded
  • There has been a price hike for the first months’ worth of flights – pricing out many for the time being. channel news Asia

On top of this, Short-term visitors from Hong Kong are required to buy travel insurance with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for COVID-19 related medical treatment and hospitalization cost prior to travel to Singapore

This news came during the first weeks of the Australia and New Zealand bubble opened, removing quarantining requirements for 200 flights per day.

Looking at the covid cases in each country:

Country Infection Rate
Hong Kong Less than 10 people per day
Singapore Averaging 30 people per day
New Zealand Less than 10 people per day
Australia Averaging 30 people per day


HK > 10 per day and SP = 30 per day is reflective of NZ > 10 per day and AUS = 30 per day Who

Unlike HK – SP, the NZ – AUS routes do not require PCR tests, it is not mandatory to download trackers, travel is much more available, with stable pricing. It is interesting that they have taken such different stances to safety regulations. Both have had international praise for their handling of the pandemic and are in talks to open more travel bubbles with each other, however they are taking two very different approaches. One more safety, the other to stir economy growth.

All countries involved are currently rejecting the EU’s Digital green certificate approach, but while Singapore does not require a full vaccination to travel, Hong Kong does. If you were to book a return trip, you would still need to be fully vaccinated, on top of everything above.

The EU is pushing for digital green (or health) certificates between its member states and the UK to boost tourism again in time for June.  Whilst coined the vaccine passport, in actuality it will show if you have been vaccinated from Covid 19, recovered from Covid 19 or have received a negative PCR test within the appropriate timeframe. European Commission

Vaccination to travel

We still do not know if vaccinated people can transmit the virus or the length of the immunity and there are concerns of this causing a social divide and two-tier societies.

The idea of bubbles is far easier to control on island countries or those with only 1 country boarder. Germany has 9 country boarders and would struggle to give bubble routes fairly without opening up political debate.

Traveling safe


With summer rapidly approaching it is nice to see some avenues opening for the tourism industry, and a sense of normality on the horizon.