Share post on

[This article will be updated as the COVID-19 situation and travel information changes between Singapore and Hong Kong. Last updated on 17 May 2021.]

The much-anticipated travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong has been put on hold. Both governments agree that this step in necessary to protect travellers’ and public health after Singapore experienced a recent spike in unlinked COVID-19 cases.

The quarantine-free travel bubble was supposed to start on 26 May 2021 but is now being delayed for the second time. In November 2020, the first attempt at launching the travel bubble was unsuccessful when Hong Kong experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases.

On 26 April 2021, when the travel bubble was announced again, there had only been a handful of locally-transmitted infections in Singapore since November 2020. In the recent weeks, however, the number of daily infections have increased.

Singapore’s government and people have been swift in managing the spread of COVID-19 in the past year, with its highest daily average reported in April last year. Meanwhile, the [email protected] facility is also an important effort by Singapore to reopen its borders for business travel in a safe and controlled manner. [email protected] is the first facility of its kind in the world and the first phase of the development opened in February 2021.

Singapore cases worldometers
HK cases worldometers info
Daily cases in Singapore and Hong Kong (Source: worldometers.info)

Both governments are closely monitoring the recent outbreak. The new travel bubble launch date around June 13 towards the end of Singapore’s Heightened Alert Phase.

Are you looking to travel to Singapore from Hong Kong, or the other way round soon? Here is all you need to know about the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) arrangement.

Who is eligible to enter Singapore from Hong Kong?

Under the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) arrangement, foreigners who are short-term visitors may seek entry into Singapore by applying for an Air Travel Pass (ATP). If you are a Singaporean Citizen, Permanent Resident (PR) or Long-term Pass holder, you are not required to apply for an ATP.

Singaporean citizens and residents may enter via the returning citizen and PR lanes. Long-term Pass holders, however, should seek entry approval depending on their pass type (Work Pass Holder, Student’s Pass or the SC/PR Familial Ties Lane).

hk singapore CEC
The SG-HK route is now closed, as reported on Covid Entry Check, will be open starting 26 May 2021,

Under the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) agreement, only those who have remained in Singapore or Hong Kong in the last 14 days before travel are eligible. This 14-day period does not include compulsory quarantine in Hong Kong or Stay-Home Notice in Singapore. 

Travellers are also required to monitor their health status before departure to Singapore. You should not travel to Singapore if you:

  • Have symptoms of COVID 19 – which include a fever above 37.5°C, cough, sore throat, loss of taste and smell, and other symptoms
  • Are diagnosed or suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 21 days before departing to Singapore
  • Had close contact with anyone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days before departing to Singapore 

What is the criteria for suspension of the Air Travel Bubble?

If the 7-day moving average of daily unlinked cases in Singapore or Hong Kong exceed 5, the air travel bubble will be suspended for at least 14 days, says the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. The suspension will take effect in 2 days. The air travel bubble can resume the next day if:

  • The 7-day moving average of daily unlinked cases in both countries do not exceed 5; and
  • There are 3 consecutive days where the daily number of unlinked local cases does not exceed 3 in both countries (the 7-day moving average of daily number of unlinked cases on the last day of the 3 days does not exceed 5)

How to apply for an Air Travel Pass to Singapore?

If you are a foreigner planning a short-term visit to Singapore, you can apply for an ATP here at no charge. Applications must be submitted between 7 and 30 days before your intended date of entry into Singapore. 

Once your ATP application is approved, you will receive an Entry Approval Letter via email. Your ATP is valid for single entry into Singapore anytime from your intended date of entry and up to 7 calendar days after.

For visitors who require a visa for travel to Singapore, you must separately obtain a valid visa after your ATP is approved and before boarding your flight to Singapore. You may check the validity of your visa here

What are the available Air Travel Bubble flights?

Currently, the ATB flights are operated by Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. You may refer to the relevant airlines’ websites for flight details and schedule. The number of flights will be allocated equally between both countries’ airlines.

HK SG ATB flights
Flight schedule presented by Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore

From 26 May to 9 June 2021:
• Singapore to Hong Kong: 1 flight per day, with up to 200 travellers per flight;
• Hong Kong to Singapore: 1 flight per day, with up to 200 travellers per flight

From 10 June 2021 onwards:
• Singapore to Hong Kong: 2 flights per day, with up to 200 travellers per flight;
• Hong Kong to Singapore: 2 flights per day, with up to 200 travellers per flight

If you are travelling under the ATB arrangement, you must travel on these designated flights. Transit and non-ATB travellers are not allowed on these flights.

Can I get a refund on my flight ticket if ATB is suspended?

Yes, affected passengers are eligible for a full refund or change in travel dates. You may refer to the airline websites’ FAQs (Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific) for further details.

What are the steps to take pre-departure to Singapore from Hong Kong?

First, you will need to have a flight ticket from Hong Kong to Singapore on one of the flights designated under the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) by both Singapore and Hong Kong Governments. It is important to note that having a flight ticket does not guarantee you ATP approval. Similarly, having ATP approval will not guarantee a flight ticket on a designated ATB flight. 

Before departing to Singapore, travellers must complete a COVID-19 PCR test at a testing facility recognised by the Hong Kong government and test negative within 72 hours of their scheduled departure. The negative test result certificate must be in English with the following information: 

  • Traveller’s name, date of birth and passport number
  • Date and time the test was taken 
  • Name of the testing institution

The Hong Kong Government also requires travellers to be fully vaccinated (completed two doses) at least 14 days before entry into Singapore. Prior to your flight to Singapore, you are required to submit your health and travel history declarations via Singapore’s electronic arrival card service.

Singapore arrival card
Singapore’s electronic arrival card health declaration

You will also need to have travel insurance with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for Covid-19 related medical and hospital treatment. Keep a copy of your travel insurance with you as it will be checked upon entry to Singapore.

You will also need to register and pre-pay for an on-arrival COVID-19 PCR test at Changi International Airport before leaving Hong Kong. You will be notified of your test results within 48 hours and the cost of the test is S$160 (with GST) per person.

Under the Air Travel Bubble (ATB), travellers from Hong Kong can enter Singapore quarantine-free. However, you will need to pre-book accommodation for 1-2 days while waiting for your on-arrival test results. The accommodation must be:

Singapore tracetogether
Download the TraceTogether app before departing to Singapore

You must also download and register your profile on the TraceTogether app on a mobile device that is compatible. For those who do not own or prefer not to use a mobile phone, you may collect a physical TraceTogether token.

When checking in for flight at Hong Kong International Airport, you will be required to present the following documents to the airline staff:

  • Valid ATP approval letter (electronic or physical copy)
  • Valid visa (if applicable)
  • Valid vaccination certificate (or exemption declaration form)
  • Valid COVID-19 PCR test results certificate in English 
  • Mobile device with TraceTogether app downloaded and registered

On arrival at Changi Airport from Hong Kong

The first entry requirement upon arrival at Changi Airport is to take a COVID-19 PCR test. If you need to purchase a SIM card or visit the money changer, you should do so within the airport transit area. 

This is because, after the test, you are required to head straight to your pre-booked isolation accomodation to await your test results within 48 hours. You must immediately take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car to travel from the airport to their declared accommodation. All transportation and accommodation costs are to be borne by the visitor.

During immigration clearance at Changi International Airport, you will need to present the following documents:

  • Valid ATP approval letter (electronic or physical copy)
  • Valid visa (if applicable)
  • Valid COVID-19 PCR test results certificate in English 
  • Mobile device with TraceTogether app downloaded and registered
  • Travel insurance policy (electronic or physical copy), with a minimum coverage of S$30,000 for COVID-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs

While staying in Singapore

Covid Mask
Wear a mask in public at all times

In order to curb the spread of COVID-19, there are health and safe distancing measures to adhere to. You are required to wear a mask at all times and can only remove it when eating or drinking. All your information must be uploaded on the TraceTogether app, and you must check in and out of each location you visit using the locations SafeEntry QR codes.

Do ensure that the Bluetooth mode on your mobile is turned on at all times to enable TraceTogether’s functions. These apps must remain installed and data retained for at least 14 days after leaving Singapore for easy contact tracing should you test positive for COVID-19.

Who is eligible to enter Hong Kong from Singapore?

Under the Air Travel Bubble (ATB), any person, irrespective of nationality, who has remained in Singapore and/or Hong Kong in the last 14 consecutive days prior to departure is eligible to travel between the two countries. This 14-day period excludes compulsory quarantine in Hong Kong or Stay-Home Notice duration in Singapore from their last travel overseas.

However, the Air Travel Bubble (ATB) is not applicable to workers (work permit or S Pass) in construction, marine shipyard and process sectors for travel from Singapore to Hong Kong. For eligible travellers, It is not a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before travelling from Singapore to Hong Kong. 

Before departing Singapore, travellers must take a pre-departure COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test and obtain negative results within 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of their designated ATB flight. The PCR test should be taken at an institution recognised by the Hong Kong Government

HK Online health declaration
Hong Kong online health and quarantine declaration form

Once the COVID-19 PCR test results are obtained, travellers must fill in and submit the online Health & Quarantine Information Declaration Form within 48 hours prior to arrival in Hong Kong and get the relevant QR code. Travellers are also required to book and pay for the post-arrival COVID-19 PCR test at Hong Kong International Airport. 

In order to facilitate contact tracing, travellers from Singapore need to download and install the LeaveHomeSafe (LHS) app on their mobile devices prior to leaving Singapore for Hong Kong.

HK leavehomesafe app
LeaveHomeSafe app in Hong Kong for contact tracing

During the duration of their stay in Hong Kong, travellers are required to scan the LHS QR codes displayed at the relevant premises they visit, and retain their LHS app visitation records for 31 consecutive days after leaving Hong Kong. 

Travelling in 2021

As borders open to travellers in 2021, countries are continuously assessing ways to manage risks of cross-border transmissions. In order to ensure your travel plans go smoothly, keep up to date with travel restrictions and entry requirements for the countries you plan to visit.


Keen on safe and more convenient business travel? Start a free trial on TruTrip or book time to speak with us.

You also may like