Singapore and Hong Kong will officially launch their Air Travel Bubble (ATB) agreement on 22 November 2020, enabling more opportunities for travel between the two countries. ? As one of the first regional air travel bubbles in the Asian-Pacific region, it's a big deal! One thing about the agreement that many people have been curious about is the mandatory pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test
that visitors to Hong Kong are required to take. Whether you're planning a trip to Hong Kong soon or just curious about what this could mean for future travel bubbles, read on to find out what you need to know about the pre-departure test!
P.S. Want to know more about the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble agremeent? Click here to find out what you need to know
1. What is the COVID-19 PCR test?
The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test is a diagnostic test that shows if you currently have an active COVID-19 infection.
2. Which travellers are required to take the COVID-19 PCR test before departure?
Some countries have made it mandatory
for inbound travellers to produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test before entering the country. At the moment, only travellers going from Singapore to Hong Kong under the Air Travel Bubble arrangement are required to apply for a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test
. However as more countries open their borders and we begin to see more travel bubbles appearing, getting a pre-departure test may get more common too. ?
3. Do I need to register for the COVID-19 pre-departure PCR test, or can I just visit my closest clinic?
According to official Singapore government guidelines, travellers whose flights to Hong Kong are before 4 December 2020
are required to submit an application for the pre-departure test on this website. After 1 December 2020,
all travellers to Hong Kong can simply visit the nearest clinic or testing centre without pre-registration.
4. What details do I need to apply for the COVID-19 pre-departure PCR test?
The application form also requires you to provide related document proof for your travels, and passport and flight details. So you'll need to book a flight first before getting the test!
5. Where can I take the COVID-19 pre-departure PCR test?
You may visit any of the recognised clinics or testing centres that can be found on this list
6. How much is the COVID-19 pre-departure PCR test?
Test costs can vary across centres, although the Singapore government has extended some subsidies to offset the cost. All charges related to the pre-departure test are estimated to not exceed $200
(including GST). Do plan ahead if you're on a tight budget!
7. How is the COVID-19 PCR test performed? Is it uncomfortable?
There are various ways to perform the COVID-19 PCR test, including swabbing through the nasal cavity or mouth. The test involves swabbing the area at the back of your throat/nose and most people describe it as being quite uncomfortable. Some people do describe it as painful, and you may tear up or feel discomfort in the throat area after the test has taken place. Generally, any discomfort from the test should go away overnight.
We can't wait to see how the travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong works out. ? In the meantime, our useful guides will help you plan your future trip to Kowloon, Mong Kok, and beyond!