Tag: Bubble

Australian PM pushes for quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand by Christmas

Scott Morrison wants quarantine-free international travel to New Zealand by Christmas, as part of a three-stage plan to get the nation to Covid-normal by the end of the year.



a close up of Scott Morrison wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

The prime minister outlined the plan at the national cabinet meeting on Friday, with a travel bubble potentially including other approved low-risk nations, and a trial, operating from early December, to allow seasonal workers and international students to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine outside of a supervised hotel setting.



a close up of Scott Morrison wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Prime minister Scott Morrison outlined plans to national cabinet to establish a quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand as well as approved low-risk nations


© Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
Prime minister Scott Morrison outlined plans to national cabinet to establish a quarantine-free travel bubble with New Zealand as well as approved low-risk nations

Morrison also lobbied Victoria to accept international arrivals, as part of a push to increase the weekly cap on returned travellers to 6,000. The federal government has said it aims to have all 26,000 Australians registered to return home back in the country by Christmas.

The first repatriation flight from London landed in Darwin on Friday with 161 passengers who will quarantine at Howard Springs.

He said that, following discussions with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews in national cabinet, he was “hoping they will be able to make a move on being able to receive international arrivals”.

“That day isn’t here yet but I know it’s a priority for the premier because he wants to see Victorians come home,” he said.

Asked ahead of the national cabinet meeting if Victoria would be accepting international flights by Christmas, Andrews said that’s “certainly our aim” but not before the hotel quarantine inquiry had delivered its final report on 6 November.

Speaking at his daily press conference, the Victorian premier said an outbreak at a school in Melbourne’s northern suburbs would not delay a “significant” easing of restrictions from Sunday and he was “confident in where things are at the moment”.

Related: Victoria to conduct covert surveillance of businesses to ensure Covid compliance

As of Friday there were 800 people in Victoria under self-isolation orders as contacts and close contacts of coronavirus cases, including 400 people connected to the 83 families whose children attend East Preston Islamic school.

Authorities announced on Wednesday that a student had tested positive. A parent of another child who attends the school – but who did not have direct contact with the first student or their family – has also since tested positive.

It was the only new case recorded in Victoria on Friday. There are just five active cases in aged care and seven among healthcare workers.

Video: Premier Daniel Andrews treats Victorians as if they’re ‘dim witted’ (Sky News Australia)

Premier Daniel Andrews treats Victorians as if they’re ‘dim witted’

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Meanwhile, New South Wales reported no new locally acquired cases on Friday, but seven new cases in hotel quarantine.

Andrews said the school outbreak did not necessarily mean there was broader transmission in the school community.

“We are very well placed to make some significant announcements on Sunday

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Hong Kong-Singapore Travel Bubble May Have One Flight a Day

(Bloomberg) 



a plane flying over a body of water with a city in the background: An aircraft operated by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. takes off at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Cathay warned last month it is set to post a first-half net loss of about HK$9.9 billion ($1.3 billion) as the coronavirus decimates air travel, with the Hong Kong carrier flying less than 1% of its usual number of passengers in recent months.


© Bloomberg
An aircraft operated by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. takes off at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020. Cathay warned last month it is set to post a first-half net loss of about HK$9.9 billion ($1.3 billion) as the coronavirus decimates air travel, with the Hong Kong carrier flying less than 1% of its usual number of passengers in recent months.

The travel bubble for Hong Kong and Singapore could start with one daily flight between the two financial hubs, according to Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau.

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The number of dedicated flights under the agreement may change depending on the coronavirus situation in the cities, Yau said at a briefing Tuesday, without elaborating. The two governments are still working on the details of the plan, including the start date.

Singapore and Hong Kong said on Oct. 15 they planned to open their borders to one another for the first time in almost seven months, with quarantine replaced by coronavirus testing. Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said at the time that he hoped the bubble would start in weeks. Travelers must have been in Hong Kong or Singapore for 14 days before departure and will need to take mutually recognized Covid-19 tests.

Governments around the world have been trying to create travel bubbles to help revive their economies and aviation industries. Opening links is particularly important for places such as Hong Kong and Singapore because they rely so much on international connectivity and business.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.’s shares fell 1.4% Tuesday, their first loss in four trading days, while Singapore Airlines Ltd.’s slipped 0.3%.

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Australia-New Zealand Travel Bubble Hits a Snag

(Bloomberg) —



a group of people walking down a street next to a building: A screen displays New South Wales Covid-19 safety protocols for people that have 'been in Victoria in the last 14 days' at a deserted Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, Aug. 17, 2020. Sydney Airport plans to raise A$2 billion ($1.4 billion) selling shares to help weather the coronavirus crisis as travel restrictions slam the aviation industry.


© Bloomberg
A screen displays New South Wales Covid-19 safety protocols for people that have ‘been in Victoria in the last 14 days’ at a deserted Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, Aug. 17, 2020. Sydney Airport plans to raise A$2 billion ($1.4 billion) selling shares to help weather the coronavirus crisis as travel restrictions slam the aviation industry.

The fledgling travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand hit an early snag after 17 passengers who flew into Sydney on Friday caught a connecting flight to Melbourne in an apparent breach of the rules.

In an effort to boost tourism, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government is encouraging visitors from New Zealand, which has crushed community transmission of Covid-19, and says they can enter the country without having to undergo hotel quarantine for 14 days. But the quarantine-free travel corridor only covers New South Wales state, which is home to Sydney, and the Northern Territory.

The 17 passengers flew on to Melbourne within minutes of arriving in Sydney, and Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews isn’t happy.

“We are not part of this bubble,” Andrews told reporters Saturday. “I have written to the prime minister this morning and we’re disappointed this has happened.” Authorities want to trace the passengers so they can be informed of local lockdown rules, he said.

Video: Could Anwar Ibrahim be Malaysia’s next prime minister? (Al Jazeera)

Could Anwar Ibrahim be Malaysia’s next prime minister?

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One-Way Flights to Australia Show Battle to Open Global Aviation

Morrison’s Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said it had been widely understood that anyone arriving in Sydney from New Zealand would be free to travel on to other states such as Victoria that had not closed their border to New South Wales. He accused Andrews, who is under pressure to ease a lockdown in Melbourne, of trying to create a distraction, the Australian newspaper reported.

Australia’s Virus Hotspot State Records Just One New Case

The limited travel corridor falls far short of the bubble initially envisaged by Morrison. New Zealand isn’t yet reciprocating, and says anyone returning from a trip to Australia must quarantine for 14 days on their return. Indeed, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has urged New Zealanders to holiday at home instead.

(Updates with acting immigration minister’s comments in fifth paragraph)

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Victoria’s Covid restrictions ease as Daniel Andrews reveals 25km travel bubble and scraps exercise time limit

Melbourne’s 5km travel radius will expand to 25km from midnight under eased restrictions announced by the state’s premier Daniel Andrews.



Daniel Andrews holding a sign: Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images


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Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

From 11.59pm on Sunday, residents of the city who have been under lockdown for more than 100 days will be able to travel up to 25km for either exercise or shopping.

The city’s two-hour time limit for exercise and socialising will also be scrapped and groups of up to 10 people from two households will be permitted to gather outdoors.

Hairdressers and outdoor sporting facilities including tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen, and outdoor real estate auctions will recommence.

Several changes were also announced for regional Victoria, where two adults and two children will now be permitted to visit a home and hospitality venues can increase the number of patrons to 70 people outside and 40 people inside.



Daniel Andrews wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Premier Daniel Andrews announces the easing of some restrictions on Sunday, saying Victorians had done ‘an amazing job’ during months of coronavirus lockdown.


© Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images
Premier Daniel Andrews announces the easing of some restrictions on Sunday, saying Victorians had done ‘an amazing job’ during months of coronavirus lockdown.

Andrews said on Sunday Victorians had done “an amazing job” during months of extended lockdown.

“What it means is that as so many cities across the world head into what is going to be a deadly winter, we in Melbourne and across Victoria are well-placed to have a Covid-safe summer and a Covid-normal 2021,” he said.

Restrictions to ease even further on 1 November

There will be further easing of restrictions in both Melbourne and regional Victoria from 11.59pm on Sunday 1 November.

From that date, Melbourne residents will be permitted to leave their homes for any reason, retail will reopen, hospitality venues will reopen with limits on the number of patrons, and two adults and two children will be able to visit another home once per day.

Andrews said if it was possible to make some of those changes safely before that date, the government would consider it.

The state announced another day of single figures for new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, with two cases recorded and no deaths.

Andrews hits back after federal MPs pile on premier

Andrews took aim at federal government MPs, including the health minister Greg Hunt, who have been critical of the state’s approach and called for a reopening in line with conditions in New South Wales.

“I don’t accept that anybody has a more complete picture of what this virus is doing in Victoria than the Victorian chief health officer, the Victoria deputy chief health officer, the Victorian health minister and the Victorian premier,” he said.

“My position to the Victorian communities but I’m not doing what is popular, I am doing what is safe. Because we don’t want to be back here again.”

Melbourne’s rolling 14-day case average dropped to 7.5 on Sunday, down 0.6 from Saturday.

Changes in Melbourne from 19 October

  • There will be no time limit on leaving your home for exercise or socialising.

  • The travel distance from your home will

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Inside Strictly pro dancers’ isolation hotel with huge dance tent as they form a bubble to stop spread of coronavirus

THE STRICTLY pro dancers showed off their isolation hotel with its huge dance tent as they formed a bubble to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Last night Strictly fans were given a glimpse of their accommodation ahead of the show, with dancer Neil Jones saying: “All the pros and some of the crew are moving into this amazing hotel.”

The Manor Hotel, near the Elstree Studios, became a home for the stars

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The Manor Hotel, near the Elstree Studios, became a home for the stars
The dancers were reunited at The Manor Hotel, near the Elstree Studios

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The dancers were reunited at The Manor Hotel, near the Elstree Studios

Janette Manrara then revealed they had to quarantine for 14 days and be tested twice for coronavirus before arriving at the hotel, where they filmed many of the group dances for the series.

Amy Dowden added: “Due to Covid-19 and the guidelines in place, we have had to create a bubble.”

The dancers reunited at the historic, The Manor Hotel, near the Elstree Studios in order to pre-record the spectacular routines.

She continued: “We usually spend the whole month learning all the group numbers and perform them throughout the series. However, this year, we have pre-recorded all of the group numbers to make it safer for us all.”

The Strictly pro dancers endured an intense stint in isolation where they practised the group numbers

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The Strictly pro dancers endured an intense stint in isolation where they practised the group numbers
The dancers were tested and quarantined for two weeks before heading into the hotel

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The dancers were tested and quarantined for two weeks before heading into the hotelCredit: BBC

Coronavirus measures also mean that while couples will be in close quarters with each other during rehearsals and performances, they will socially distance from other contestants.

Either the professional dancer or the celebrity will also be living on their own for the duration of the series as they form an exclusive support bubble.

This has meant Strictly’s Janette Manrara is living apart from husband Aljaz Skorjanec.

The stunning Tudor house

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The stunning Tudor house

Strictly will run for just nine weeks this year, with no Halloween special or Blackpool trip.

Everyone on set must wear a mask, take frequent temperature checks and sanitise.

There will be multiple deep cleans each day, and anyone on set must sign a form to state they have no Covid symptoms.

Amy Dowden revealed the dancers were asked to isolate

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Amy Dowden revealed the dancers were asked to isolate

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Strictly Come Dancing pros give a glimpse into their ‘hotel bubble’

The Strictly Come Dancing professionals gave fans a glimpse into their ‘hotel bubble’ on Saturday’s launch show.

The dancers were forced to self-isolate together for 14 days last month at the historic, The Manor Hotel, near the Elstree Studios in order to pre-record the group routines.

Listing the show’s strict regulations, the pros revealed they were placed in quarantine for 14 days and tested twice for coronavirus before moving in.

Bubble: The Strictly Come Dancing professionals gave fans a glimpse into their 'hotel bubble' on Saturday's launch show

Bubble: The Strictly Come Dancing professionals gave fans a glimpse into their ‘hotel bubble’ on Saturday’s launch show

Amy Dowden said: ‘Due to Covid-19 and the guidelines in place, we have had to create a bubble.’

To which Neil Jones added: ‘All the pros and some of the crew are moving into this amazing hotel.’

Amy continued: ‘We usually spend the whole month learning all the group numbers and perform them throughout the series. However, this year, we have pre-recorded all of the group numbers to make it safer for us all.’

Janette Manrara then revealed they had to quarantine for 14 days and be tested twice for coronavirus before arriving at the hotel 

Isolation: The dancers were forced to self-isolate together for 14 days last month at the historic, The Manor Hotel, near the Elstree Studios in order to pre-record the group routines

Isolation: The dancers were forced to self-isolate together for 14 days last month at the historic, The Manor Hotel, near the Elstree Studios in order to pre-record the group routines

Intense: Listing the show's strict regulations, the pros revealed they were placed in quarantine for 14 days and tested twice for coronavirus before moving in

Intense: Listing the show’s strict regulations, the pros revealed they were placed in quarantine for 14 days and tested twice for coronavirus before moving in

Karen Hauer admitted that it had been ‘really lonely’ isolating by themselves and was nice to be reunited together.

The pros joked that it was an intense experience as they had two weeks to learn all of the group numbers and it was just ‘dance, dance, dance’ with ‘no escaping’.

Strictly then shared a glimpse of the group routines being pre-recorded in the studios, revealing that all crew members had to wear masks with everyone on set sanitising their hands. 

With the crew working together around the clock, 300 costumes were made during the 25-day hotel bubble stay.

Amy Dowden said: 'Due to Covid-19 and the guidelines in place, we have had to create a bubble.'

Amy Dowden said: ‘Due to Covid-19 and the guidelines in place, we have had to create a bubble.’

Lovely: To which Neil Jones added: 'All the pros and some of the crew are moving into this amazing hotel.'

Lovely: To which Neil Jones added: ‘All the pros and some of the crew are moving into this amazing hotel.’

While the sets and routines will have exciting stunts including explosions, trains and bikes with the pros saying ‘it looks like a full on movie production’.

The dancers also had to pre-record the final group routine and even a festive Christmas performance. 

Elsewhere, also during the show, Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly outlined how the show had adapted to the current climate and introduced safety measures.

They told the audience: ‘Earlier in the year out dedicated professional dancers isolated at home before moving into a hotel together and becoming a household.

Strict: Janette Manrara then revealed they had to quarantine for 14 days and be tested twice for coronavirus before arriving at the hotel

Strict: Janette Manrara then revealed they had to quarantine for 14 days and be tested twice for coronavirus before arriving at the hotel 

'Lonely': Karen Hauer admitted that it had been 'really lonely' isolating by themselves and was nice to be reunited together

‘Lonely’: Karen Hauer admitted that it had been ‘really lonely’ isolating

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US To UK Travel Bubble, Social Distancing In Cabo, New Covid Hot Spot Map And More

This Cabo Resort Was Made for Social Distancing

Although it opened in 2017, Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas was practically designed for social distancing in 2020. The Cabo resort is set on 834 acres (including a private beach) and has an enormous lagoon-style pool with well-spaced seating. Other amenities including an 18-hole Greg Norman Signature golf course, hiking and biking trails, and a shopping center.

Will a New York-London Travel Corridor Open for the Holidays?

Americans who dream of spending the holidays in England may soon get a gift—the U.S. and U.K are working on a plan to open travel between New York and London later this year. While details are still being worked out, travelers would have to test negative for Covid-19 before and after a flight, with the hope that quarantine times would then be greatly reduced.

Tourist Returns ‘Cursed’ Artifacts to Pompeii

The next time you feel guilty about taking home those towels from your favorite hotel, consider the cautionary tale of a Canadian tourist who stole ancient artifacts from an archaeological site in Pompeii some 15 years ago. The woman, identified only as “Nicole,” recently returned the objects because she believed they were “cursed” and had brought “so much negative energy” into her life. “I was young and stupid,” she wrote in a letter, accompanying the items. “I wanted to have a piece of history nobody could have.”

Travel Wise

Want to plan a getaway and not find Covid-19 when you arrive? The Johns Hopkins University percent positive map is a user-friendly guide to the coronavirus rate is every state. Look for states in which the percent positive rate is below 5% (or shaded blue).

A Master List of Seating and Mask Policies for U.S. Airlines

Since most travelers still have a fear of flying, it’s important to know what to expect if you do have to board a plane. Here is an updated list of seating and mask policies for major U.S. airlines.

Passport by ForbesLife chronicles the latest in luxury travel, drinking and dining, fashion—and life’s other indulgences. Click here to sign up for its weekly newsletter.

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Family Vacation sets season 4 premiere, filmed in bubble



Vinny Guadagnino, Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino posing for a photo: MailOnline logo


© Provided by Daily Mail
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As television and film productions everywhere continue to grapple with the significant complications posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Jersey Shore figured out a way to still provide fans with a brand new season.

On Thursday, MTV announced via a YouTube promo teaser that the next season of the show is coming back on November 19th, with back to back episodes. 

And according to TMZ, the entirety of season 4 takes place at a resort in Nevada, where the whole JS gang holed up with the crew along with their extended families so as not to risk any outside exposure to the disease. 



Vinny Guadagnino, Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino posing for a photo: They're baaaack: MTV announced that the next season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation is coming back on November 19th on Thursday


© Provided by Daily Mail
They’re baaaack: MTV announced that the next season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation is coming back on November 19th on Thursday

This ‘bubble’ approach has been successful in other venues, such as with NBA, which just completed a season of basketball leading to the LA Lakers championship victory.  

The upcoming season of Jersey Shore, dubbed Jersey Shore ‘Bring the Family’ Vacation, will see the return of Deena Cortese, Paul ‘Pauly D’ Delvecchio, Jenni ‘JWOWW’ Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Angelina Pivarnick and Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino. 

Noticeably absent, however, is fan favorite Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, who very publicly left the show late last year. 



text: Bubble approach: The entirety of season 4 takes place at a resort in Nevada, where the whole Jersey Shore gang holed up with the crew along with their extended families


© Provided by Daily Mail
Bubble approach: The entirety of season 4 takes place at a resort in Nevada, where the whole Jersey Shore gang holed up with the crew along with their extended families

This season, apparently, will see the guys of Jersey Shore attempt to reunite the ladies, whose fractured relationships are what caused Snooki’s exit. 

Gallery: The best TV shows of 2020, so far (USA TODAY)

It all came to a head in the finale of JS: FV’s season 3 last November, during Angelina’s wedding to Chris Larangeira, when Polizzi, Farley and Cortese’s toast at the nuptials was poorly received.

Insisting it was all meant in good fun, by the end of the episode, Snooki proclaimed that she was ‘done’ with the show – a sentiment she has upheld since.



JWoww et al. posing for the camera: Noticeably absent: Fan favorite Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi (center) very publicly left the show late last year at the end of season 3


© Provided by Daily Mail
Noticeably absent: Fan favorite Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi (center) very publicly left the show late last year at the end of season 3



a person standing posing for the camera: It all came to a head last November: During Angelina Pivarnick's wedding to Chris Larangeira, Polizzi, Farley and Cortese's toast at the nuptials was poorly received


© Provided by Daily Mail
It all came to a head last November: During Angelina Pivarnick’s wedding to Chris Larangeira, Polizzi, Farley and Cortese’s toast at the nuptials was poorly received

According to a statement from MTV made to People, the incident left the ‘family fractured, leaving the boys with only one option — make the family whole again.’

Known for its over-the-top shenanigans and salacious characters, MTV’s original Jersey Shore originally premiered in 2009 and was enormously popular, lasting six seasons.

The show was rebooted as Jersey Shore: Family Vacation in 2018, sans original cast member Sammi ‘Sweetheart’ Giancola.   

The show returns on Thursday, November 19th at 8 p.m. ET/PT.



Vinny Guadagnino et al. posing for the camera: The OG crew: Known for its over-the-top shenanigans and salacious characters, MTV's original Jersey Shore originally premiered in 2009 and was enormously popular, lasting six seasons


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The OG crew: Known for

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HKTB Welcomes Announcement of In-principle Agreement to Establish Bilateral Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble

HKTB opens up the city virtually for the rest of the world with 360 Hong Kong Moments

Hong Kong and Singapore have reached an in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral Air Travel Bubble (ATB). This milestone arrangement will help revive cross-border air travel between the two aviation hubs in a safe and progressive way.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201016005226/en/

360 Hong Kong Moments (Photo: Business Wire)

Hong Kong and Singapore enjoy strong trade, investment, finance, tourism and people-to-people ties. Both cities are major aviation hubs, and the international air route between the two cities was among the busiest in the Asia-Pacific region before the pandemic. Travel links between Hong Kong and Singapore are important for both cities.

In conjunction with this announcement and to inspire visitors to explore Hong Kong from all angles, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has launched 360 Hong Kong Moments – opening up the city virtually by way of wholesome and immersive content, designed to remind the world what a wonderful and all-encompassing destination Hong Kong is.

“We welcome the SAR Government’s announcement of the in-principle agreement to establish a bilateral Air Travel Bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore,” said Dr YK Pang, Chairman of the HKTB. “The announcement is a timely match with the HKTB’s launch of a standardised hygiene protocol for tourism-related sectors with the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, which was announced last week. The protocol allows the tourism-related sectors to be well-prepared to welcome visitors back, while bolstering visitors’ confidence in travelling to Hong Kong. The HKTB also hopes that the ongoing series of 360 Hong Kong Moments will keep our destination brand alive and ensure that our city stays top-of-mind for people around the world before other travel bubbles are formed.”

The first in the series of 360 Hong Kong Moments is a 360-degree virtual-reality film, created especially for this year’s Great Outdoors Hong Kong campaign. The VR adventure takes viewers on an immersive journey across Hong Kong’s surprisingly easy-to-access green territory. Viewers can savour the taste of traditional local dishes that connect them with the city’s cultural heritage, gaze at the mesmerising skyline from atop stunning mountains, and listen to the soothing sounds of a waterfall.

From city to mountains, and coastlines to parks, the stunning footage fully immerses viewers in the rhythms and sensations of Hong Kong’s green lungs, bringing global audiences as close to Hong Kong as possible – no matter where they are in the world.

Watch the HKTB’s 360-degree VR film online to immerse yourself in Hong Kong’s natural scenery:
https://youtu.be/6-jt4u4IhMY

For more information about Great Outdoors Hong Kong, please visit:
https://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/explore/great-outdoor.html

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201016005226/en/

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Ms Vivian Li
Email: vivian.li@hktb.com

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Singapore-Hong Kong Air Fares Jump 40% on Travel Bubble Plan

(Bloomberg) — The cost of air tickets between two major Asian financial hubs jumped within 24 hours of Singapore and Hong Kong unveiling plans for a travel bubble that wouldn’t require people to quarantine upon arrival.



a bridge over a body of water: A ground crew member passes a unconnected jet bridge during a "Flycation" flight experience, at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Various carriers in the region have launched so-called flights to nowhere, catering to people still yearning to fly.


© Bloomberg
A ground crew member passes a unconnected jet bridge during a “Flycation” flight experience, at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Various carriers in the region have launched so-called flights to nowhere, catering to people still yearning to fly.

The cheapest price for a Singapore Airlines Ltd. return economy seat to Hong Kong was S$558 ($410) Friday morning up until the end of December, versus around S$400 Thursday afternoon as the news was announced, the airline’s website showed. Return business-class fares rose about HK$5,000 ($645) to HK$19,000. Cheaper flights were still available on travel websites including Skyscanner Ltd.

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The coronavirus pandemic has hit the flag carriers of Singapore and Hong Kong especially hard because they don’t have any domestic market to fall back on. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, around 1 million trips were made between the two regional centers every year, data from the Singapore and Hong Kong tourism boards show.

Hong Kong-listed Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. closed up 6.1% on Thursday and rose as much as 6.4% Friday as investors digested the news. The agreement could lift Cathay’s monthly revenue by HK$90 million and reduce cash burn by as much as 6%, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analysts James Teo and Chris Muckensturm, who assume revenue on the Hong Kong-Singapore route amounted to about 3% of Cathay’s total pre-pandemic.

Singapore Airlines, which rose as much as 1.4% Friday, could see a S$15 million boost to monthly revenue and 6% reduction in cash burn, Teo and Muckensturm said. The route also made up about 3% of its revenue before Covid-19, they said.

The number of flights between Hong Kong and Singapore slumped because of the virus, with only 54 round trips filed for October, down 90% from a year earlier, according to the consultancy arm of aviation analytics company Cirium.

Video: Chinese yuan may trade around 6.65 by end-2020, says strategist (CNBC)

Chinese yuan may trade around 6.65 by end-2020, says strategist

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“Although the travel bubble will potentially facilitate increase of services by Cathay Pacific, Singapore and Scoot (who have continued to operate minimal services on the route through 2020), demand is expected to remain depressed in the near-term as passenger confidence remains low,” said Herman Tse, an analyst with Ascend by Cirium.

Still, the bubble plan has encouraged some to book flights or make plans to travel. Singapore-based Clarence Foo, who works for APAC Realty Ltd. unit ERA, said four Chinese nationals with Hong Kong residency had told him they planned to fly down to the city-state and purchase luxury apartments.

“They’re constantly asking about the property market – whether it’s recovering and whether prices are coming up,” Foo said. “Some had planned to come down earlier

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