#1: Ensure that you’re eligible to travel under the ATB.
Who's eligible? Anyone who’s stayed in Singapore or Hongkong for the last 14 consecutive days can travel to either city. There are some exceptions: Work permit and S-Pass holders working in construction, marine shipyard or process sectors in Singapore cannot travel under the ATB.
#2: Which flights to book? (Hint: There are not many choices.)
Gone are the days where you book any flight you wanted, based on your budget or other preferences.
Under the ATB, travellers can only fly via Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific’s designated flights. There will only be one flight a day into each city from Nov 22, each one with 200 passengers maximum. From Dec 7, this will be increased to two flights daily (if all goes well, of course).
Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific will operate these ATB-assigned flights. These are the flight numbers you should look out for when booking: SQ890, SQ891, CX734 and CX759.
#3: Apply to get a pre-departure polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test done.
Going on a holiday in Hongkong under the ATB? There are a total of three Covid-19 tests that you’ll have to do— once before leaving Singapore, another one when you arrive in HK, and finally, one prior to departing HK.
All ATB travellers will need to be tested negative for Covid-19 at least 72 hours prior to their departure from either city. Travellers will bear full costs for tests and medical treatments should they test positive for Covid-19 during their travels.
But, wait, it's not like you can waltz into any clinic for your PCR test.
First, you have to submit a request on the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s (CAAS) SafeTravel website to get a pre-departure PCR test done. You will need a confirmed flight ticket before submitting your request. Wait for the e-mail approval, likely to be given within three working days, before heading down for the test.
#4: Book a pre-departure test in Singapore, at least 72 hours before your scheduled departure.
After you get the e-mail approval to take the pre-departure PCR test, book an appointment at one of the approved clinics and testing centres (there are over 400 in the list at press time). Folks without prior approval will not be allowed to get tested. According to MOH, charges for pre-departure testing should not exceed $200 in total.
And nope, there will be no one to remind you when to take the test. It’s the traveller’s responsibility to ensure that they get a negative PCR test result at least 72 hours before their scheduled departure time.
#5: Submit an online health declaration form before checking in for your flight to HK.
Before you check in for your flight to HK, you’ll have to submit an online health declaration form, as required by the HKSAR Department of Health. Upon completing the form, you’ll be issued a QR code valid for 48 hours that you have to save or keep a screenshot of to show to airport staff in Singapore and Hongkong.
#6: Book your HK post-arrival Covid-19 test, even before you leave Singapore.
ATB travellers will have to take a second Covid-19 test upon arrival in Hongkong. You’ll have to pre-book and pay for the test even before you depart from Singapore. Currently, a basic test costs HKD499 (S$86.70). You’ll receive a QR code once you’ve completed the process. Again, keep a screenshot of the QR code for later use. More details for bookings will be released on HK’s dedicated ATB website.
#7: Present your negative test results and QR codes.
You'll have to do it at check-in at Changi Airport, and again upon arrival in Hongkong International Airport (HKIA).
#8: Once you've touched down at HKIA, head to a registration booth and collect your test kit.
The Covid-19 test at HKIA is a saliva test, where you’ll be given a test kit with a small container to spit into. Once you’re done, place your sample in a designated box for collection.
#9: Wait for test results.
Travellers have to wait within a restricted area of the airport for test results. They will only be allowed to leave after they receive negative test results. The wait in the airport could take about four hours, so plan your itinerary accordingly.
Once a negative test result comes through, travellers will receive a green QR code on their phone, which they will then present to airport staff. Finally, they’ll be allowed through customs and be able to leave the airport for that long-awaited HK vacay.