Hong Kong talks “travel bubble” with Macao
While Hong Kong is keen on the inter-SAR bubble, Macao remains wary of opening the floodgates while Covid-19 is still a major threat.
A travel bubble could open up between Hong Kong and Macao in the next few months, but there are some hurdles to overcome first.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the main challenge was how to prevent Hongkongers dodging Covid-19 rules by crossing into the mainland once they were in Macao, which has already resumed quarantine-free travel in both directions with other cities in the south of the country.
Lam told lawmakers her administration had been “actively following up” on the proposed travel bubble between Hong Kong and Macao after the two cities’ leaders met at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan, the South China Morning Post reported.
“It could be a travel bubble or any mechanism to bring about travelling convenience,” she said. “We do not have concrete results to announce, but we are working in this direction.”
Macao is standing firm on the conditions it requires for reopening to Hongkongers.
Macao Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said earlier this month that Hong Kong must have no new Covid-19 cases for 14 consecutive days before quarantine-free links could resume between the two cities.
Hong Kong confirmed seven new infections on Wednesday, six of which were imported. Macao’s most recent infection was an imported case detected on 7 April.
Macao officials have said there are no plans to discuss travel-bubble arrangements with any regions at this stage.
A travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore is scheduled to start on 26 May.