Coronavirus has devastated the Travel sector because fresh entrants into any country have to remain in quarantine for a specific period. That is necessary to ensure all-round safety. However, when one embarks on a tour, he would like to take in the new place's sights and sounds and not remain cooped up indoors. Therefore, Hong Kong and Singapore hit upon a unique strategy. These are well-known tourist destinations in Asia and had a very low rate of infection. They offered quarantine-free travel under the air-travel bubble option. It was to launch on November 22. However, a sudden spike in coronavirus infection in Hong Kong has forced the authorities to put it on hold.

An official indicated a postponement of two weeks.

CNN says there were 43 new coronavirus cases in Hong Kong on Saturday November 21. That happened to be the highest daily spike in over three months, and most of them were locals. That has applied a brake on the plans for the revival of tourism and related businesses. The quarantine-free corridor's objective was to boost tourism and business travel between the two Asian hubs. Both Singapore and Hong Kong had successfully contained their coronavirus outbreak. They initiated preventive measures from day one to reap the benefits.

Quarantine-free travel would be a welcome change

The curse of quarantine has robbed travel of its charm. Hence, a quarantine- free travel between Singapore and Hong would have paid rich dividends.

CNN says that when the coronavirus pandemic struck, the governments' first action was to close their borders. They also imposed restrictions on the entry of most non-residents and short-term visitors. In Hong Kong, residents who were returning home had to be in quarantine for 14 days. They had to wear a device to track their location.

Information about the air-travel bubble

The tentative schedule of the bubble was one flight daily into each city. There would be 200 travelers on each flight. Subsequently, the number of daily flights could increase. Travelers needed to abide by certain guidelines. CNN adds that if the coronavirus situation deteriorates in either city, the air-travel bubble option will cease to exist.

Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Communicable Disease Branch at Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection, said: "The scale of the increase is very alarming," reports CNN. Under the circumstances, the sudden spike in Hong Kong has dampened the spirits of those who had hoped to avail this travel opportunity.

Setback to quarantine-free travel option

According to Channel News Asia, the proposed air-travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong is on temporary hold because of a sudden spurt of infection in Hong Kong. Officials of Singapore and Hong Kong have discussed the issue and agreed to review the situation within two weeks on the new launch date. Singapore's Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said: "I can fully understand the disappointment and frustration of travelers who have planned their trips.

But we think it is better to defer from a public health standpoint," reports Channel News Asia. Those who opt for the air travel bubble have to travel by dedicated flights operated by Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. In case the travelers decide to undertake their journey on non-designated air travel bubble flights, they would have to abide by the prevailing border control and health requirements of both cities. The airlines have indicated that those who want to cancel their travel plans can claim a full refund. Incidentally, under the terms of the travel bubble, the arrangement would be suspended if infection norms go beyond specified limits.

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