A few weeks ago, Singapore and Hong Kong established a two-way Air Travel Bubble (ATB). This will allow us to travel between both cities without quarantine, bearing great news for those gripped by wanderlust.
An official date has now been set, and the Air Travel Bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong will start on 22 November 2020. The Ministry of Transport announced that there will be one flight per day, limited to 200 passengers. However, this arrangement will increase to two flights a day into each city from 7 December 2020.
Anyone who has stayed 14 days in either city, regardless of age and nationality, will be eligible to travel freely. If you managed to snap up air tickets for yourself or are considering a trip to Hong Kong, read on. Here’s everything you need to take note of.
Travellers from Singapore will be tested for COVID-19 at three points: Before departing from Singapore, upon arriving in Hong Kong, and before departing from Hong Kong. In Singapore, you must first test negative on a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours of your scheduled departure time.
If you’re planning on departing Singapore before 1 December, you would need to apply for approval to take a PCR test at least seven days before your flight. You would need a confirmed flight ticket to Hong Kong in order to apply, and you can make the application here. Those departing after 30 November can take the test at one of these clinics or testing centres.
Upon arrival, you’ll also be required to take a PCR test at Hong Kong International Airport. You have to book and pay for this test before departing Singapore, and you must remain at Hong Kong International Airport until you receive your negative test results.
Finally, before departing from Hong Kong, you must take a third PCR test within 72 hours of their scheduled departure time at a recognised testing centre, a list of which can be found here. They can also go to four community testing centres, where the test will cost HK$240. Children aged 12 or younger are exempted from this test. You won’t have to take another test upon your return to Singapore.
Measures to observe during your trip
During your trip, you must comply with prevailing public health and safe distancing measures in Hong Kong. That includes wearing masks and observing limits on group gatherings.
As long as you test negative for COVID-19 prior to travelling, you won’t have to be quarantined upon arriving back to Singapore. If you test positive for COVID-19 while you’re in Hong Kong, however, you will bear the full cost of any medical treatment, subject to the prevailing medical and healthcare policies.
Hotels to make the most of your Air Travel Bubble experience
With less than one week to go till the inaugural flight of the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble, most of you are probably busy researching Hong Kong hotel options for your sojourn. Ahead are three of our top hotel picks that fuse luxury and comfort to help you make the most of your Air Travel Bubble experience.
K11 ARTUS is a private, luxurious hybrid hotel-residence experience. Located at Victoria Dockside, the arts and cultural district along the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront, each residence features a wraparound balcony that grants you stunning open-air views of Victoria Harbour or Hong Kong’s cityscape.
The full-service residential experience is supported by state-of-the-art facilities, including an open-air heated swimming pool, sun-deck, 24-hour gym, and a stylish library space. The Commune, an intimate restaurant located inside K11 ARTUS, overlooks Victoria Harbour, while the residences are perched above K11 MUSEA, providing you with a wide selection of cuisine, leisure, and retail options.
Book directly through the K11 ARTUS website to receive direct booking benefits.
Address: 18 Salisbury Road, Victoria Dockside, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Situated in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hotel ICON is an upscale Hong Kong hotel that’s unlike any other. It showcases work from celebrated designers in the city as well as the world’s most acclaimed architects.
Hotel ICON offers 262 stylish guestrooms furnished with attractive features, including complimentary wired and Wi-Fi internet connections, a smartphone with unlimited mobile data, and a slim 40” Ultra HD LED TV.
On level 9, you can experience Angsana Spa, a tranquil oasis. On top of that, you can enjoy the harbour-facing outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Hotel ICON also houses three restaurants: Above & Beyond, The Market, and GREEN, providing guests with sumptuous food and impeccable service.
Book directly with Hotel ICON to receive additional privileges.
Address: 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong
The Upper House
Part of the House Collective by Swire Hotels, The Upper House is perfect for seasoned travellers who seek an intimate, personalised experience in luxury travel.
As it prepares to open up its doors to us, The Upper House is delighted to offer a ‘Stay 3, Pay 2’ experience, allowing guests to extend their cosy stay for an additional night with every two-night reservation. Inclusive of a daily breakfast set, you won’t want to miss this opportunity that’s here to stay well into the following year.
Be sure to catch this deal before it ends on 31 August 2021. For more information, click here.
Address: 88 Queensway, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Experiences you can look forward to
With the Air Travel Bubble, Hong Kong is ready to shower its visitors with a series of compelling experiences. Get ready for sparkling Christmas celebrations and a host of gastronomical experiences from the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival.
The year-end is also the best hiking and cycling seasons, so get fully immersed in Hong Kong’s great outdoors (safely, of course). For all art lovers out there, you can look forward to world-class exhibitions, such as the Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel as well as Botticelli and His Times. Masterpieces from the Uffizi Gallery in the Hong Kong Museum of Arts are not to be missed too!
Keep reading for more shopping and culinary experiences that await you.
LANDMARK’s pop-up shopping experience
Reminiscent of the yule-spirited Christmas markets that populate the streets of Europe during the year-end, LANDMARK is bringing its festive pop-up Christmas Market to you at LANDMARK Atrium. From now till 31 December 2020, LANDMARK will be transformed into Santa’s grotto, full of festive cheer.
You’ll find the best selection of products and Christmas exclusives with the likes of Polo by Ralph Lauren, British chocolate maker Charbonnel et Walker, Italian accessories brand Senreve, as well as La Maison du Chocolat, The Armoury, BarkMall, Indigo Living, Town House, Reign Abalone House, Cookie DPT, and the Mandarin Oriental gift shop. There is also a dedicated Christmas Market Wine Shop, which stocks exclusive bottles from The Whisky Library, Sake Central, Sunday’s Spirits, and Dr Fern’s.
Richard Ekkebus, the acclaimed chef of Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, is treating shoppers to an original bakery concept created just for the pop-up. LMO Freshly Baked will be serving a collection of more than 15 different baked goods and sweet treats inspired by the chef’s favourite childhood desserts. To guarantee that piping hot freshness, a different item will be available every hour.
Address: 15 Queen’s Road Central, 308 & 312-314, 3/F LANDMARK Atrium, Central, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon to Sun)
Winter Wonderland at Mott 32
For one month, award-winning Cantonese restaurant Mott 32 will be transformed for the festive season with elegant Christmas decor, featuring a canopy of silver-frosted greenery and a modern Christmas tree. Feast on Mott 32’s Cantonese-accented seasonal Peking Turkey menu, which includes a free-range barbecued whole turkey with a Chinese twist, served in a Peking duck style.
This will be followed by minced turkey served on a prawn cracker. Finally, shredded turkey salad with field greens and sweet mixed Chinese pickles will be served with cranberry dressing. The Peking Turkey menu will be available from 26 November to 30 December 2020 and is priced at HK$1,880. Diners must make a reservation and pre-order from the menu at least 48 hours in advance.
On Christmas Day, 25 December, Mott 32 will be offering an indulgent Christmas Set menu, featuring a roasted turkey salad, barbecue pluma Iberico pork, foie gras, a soup course, followed by a main course of the restaurant’s signature apple wood-roasted 42 days Peking duck, braised brussels sprouts and more. The feast will round off with a chocolate yule log for dessert.
The Christmas Set Menu is priced at HK$1,388 per person for a four-course meal of ten sharing dishes, with an additional optional wine pairing for HK$480 per person.
Address: 4-4a Des Voeux Road, Standard Chartered Bank Building, Central, Hong Kong
BaseHall: Hong Kong’s platform for local culinary talent
A multi-concept food hall at the basement of Jardine House, BaseHall will be packing a full schedule of Christmas programmes throughout the month of December. From carol singing to a tree lighting ceremony, live music performances and a rumoured visit from Chris Cringle himself, you’ll be in for a real treat.
Get ready to indulge in festive-themed food offering from every food vendor on site. It features some of the best culinary names in Hong Kong, including Roti Tori, Cookie DPT, Moyo Sik, Return of Lemak, Treehouse, and more.
Address: 1 Connaught Place Central, Shop 1, B1/F, Jardine House, Central, Hong Kong
Mr Brown: Thanksgiving & Christmas meals
Mr Brown, a popular smoke and grill house, is celebrating the festive season with two enticing menus that will be available on a few special dates. Over Thanksgiving and Christmas, you can satisfy your hunger with a delightful menu that offers the best flavours and produce of the season.
Starters for both their Thanksgiving and Christmas menus include clams on toast with n’duja and tomato, smoked meatballs with barbecue chipotle, and old-time Mr Brown favourites such as English muffins filled with Iberico pork or pastrami, and whipped mackerel served with fish roe and pretzel bread.
This is followed by the centrepiece of any good festive meal – turkey. A platter of succulent smoked roast turkey is paired with festive sides that are the hallmark of a seasonal meal: pecan and bacon stuffing, maple glazed sweet potato, and smoked pork brussel sprouts. To round off the meal, apple and pecan pie will be served with vanilla bourbon cream.
Address: G/F, 9 Ship Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Dates and prices: Thanksgiving Dinner, 26 November; 6pm – 10pm; HK$488 per pax |
Christmas Brunch, 24 – 27 December; 12pm – 3pm, HK$358 per pax (+ HK$198 per pax for optional two-hour free-flow drinks) |
Christmas Dinner, 25 & 26 December; 6pm – 10pm; HK$488 per pax
FRANCIS: Middle Eastern-inspired menus
Chef Asher Goldstein of FRANCIS has created two hearty Middle Eastern-inspired menus that capture the neighbourhood eatery’s signature laid-back style. Featuring fresh, quality produce handled with care and creativity, the limited-run brunch and dinner menus offer simple indulgence with a festive touch.
A hallmark of Middle Eastern cuisine, a traditional Jerusalem-stuffed roast shoulder of lamb will be served with saffron spiced rice, topped with a generous serving of sweet currants and pomegranates.
FRANCIS’s Christmas menus also offer veggie meze and main courses, such as smoked carrots and a trio of dolma. Guests can also expect classic mezes, such as hummus, baked halloumi, and falafel alongside Moroccan-inspired quail pastilla and atayef (a sweet Arabic pancake) on both menus. The extended dinner menu will feature more mouth-watering dishes such as octopus and Norway lobster.
Address: 4 & 6 St. Francis Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Dates and prices: Brunch, 24 – 27 December; 12pm – 3pm; HK$350 per pax |
Dinner, 25 & 26 December; 6pm – 10pm; HK$480 per pax