Nope, we’re not calling it an air travel bubble anymore. Instead, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung is calling it an air travel corridor instead.
“We’re going to call it the air travel corridor from now on. The word bubble is a bit of a jinx, I think,” he said today (Jul 1) in an interview with The Straits Times.
The Health Minister’s quip came when he was speaking about possibly easing travel restrictions by the end of the year. The government is looking at whether it could be viable for Singaporeans to travel to certain countries without having to serve a Stay-Home Notice when they return home under the “air travel corridor” arrangements.
Some of the possible destinations are the United States, parts of the European Union and, of course, Hongkong.
Now, we probably don’t need to remind you how the Singapore-Hongkong air travel bubble has burst, not once, but twice so far — and became fodder for memes along the way. Cases in Hongkong rose after the first announcement of the air travel bubble last November, while Singapore saw a surge in cases following the second announcement in May this year.
When asked about the Singapore-Hongkong air travel, er, corridor, Ong told the Straits Times that both cities are “more or less in a good place now, and both of us are vaccinating our people".
He also revealed that in determining which countries Singaporeans may be allowed to travel to, general infection rates, vaccination rates, control measures, testing and other non-pharmaceutical interventions in the country are among the factors considered.
In the same interview, he also revealed that bigger groups could be allowed to dine together in Singapore soon. “Come July 12, we are looking at opening up to (allow) more people to dine in together, and whether there are other openings that we can consider,” he said.
Photo: Unsplash/Han Min T