Hong Kong and Singapore Reopen International Transit
Both Hong Kong and Singapore will allow passengers to transit once again from the beginning of June. This can be seen as an initial step towards the resumption of global international travel.
Hong Kong Airport will reopen for international transit passengers from 1st of June, according to a statement issued by Hong Kong's Chief Executive, Carrie Lam.
The airport will begin to gradually reopen towards full capacity. The reopening of the airport has come as a part the Hong Kong Government’s plan to reboot the city’s economy.
Prior to the announcement, Qatar Airways and Air Canada planned to operate flights to Hong Kong in June. Reopening the airport to transit passengers will allow for these flights to accept travellers who have potentially been stranded across Asia.
The Hong Kong Government has also reiterated that only residents will be granted entry into the city, and any foreign passengers that do not reside in Hong Kong will be denied.
Chinese State Media has reported that Hong Kong will now serve as a transit hub for “thousands of Chinese residents stranded abroad”. This follows numerous foreign airlines temporarily or permanently stopping routes to the Chinese Mainland.
Hong Kong is one of the world's busiest airports by passenger count, and transit passengers make up a significant portion of this airport traffic. Transit services in Hong Kong have been suspended since the 25th of April.
The Government of Singapore has recently confirmed that passenger transit will resume from the 2nd of June. Singapore airport serves as a major transit hub for flights between the Asia-Pacific and Europe.
Currently, passenger transit is only permitted if passengers are travelling on repatriation flights organised by their respective governments.
The Singapore Civil Aviation Authority has said that opening the airport to transit passengers will be one of the initial steps in the reopening of the city.
“As a precaution, stringent measures will be instituted to ensure that the transit passengers remain in designated facilities in the transit area and do not mix with other passengers whilst at Changi Airport. Airport staff will be required to wear personal protective equipment when interacting with passengers.”
Singapore Civil Aviation Authority
Singapore has stopped transit passengers since the 24th of March. In addition, the country’s Prime Minister also enacted a ban on any short stay-visitors, to help combat imported coronavirus cases.