Hong Kong is the latest country to want Australia as a travel bubble destination.
The ‘Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China’ joins around eight to 10 other nations that have shown interest in creating a travel bubble with Australia.
The Hong Kong government says Australia, along with eight other countries, is part of its travel bubble aspirations.
However, COVID tests would be required at both ends of any journey between these nations.
Commerce minister Edward Yau Tang-wah said discussions were already underway with each country to determine what testing systems could be put in place for arriving and departing passengers, according to an Executive Traveller report.
“We need to ensure that a coronavirus test – that is mutually recognised – can be carried out before travelling, and another verification is needed after arrival,” said Mr Yau.
“Our health authorities would then proceed to further discussion with those countries.”
The other countries being considered are dotted around Asia, the Pacific and Europe where the pandemic is “under better control”, he added.
So far, the list includes Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand Vietnam, France, Germany and Switzerland.
Talks are already underway with Japan and Thailand.
“These are places with which we have made initial contact, but whether travel bubbles can be established … would depend on a host of factors, including the epidemic situation and its containment in respective places,” said Mr Yau.
“Of course the timetable will be a matter of bilateral agreement between Hong Kong and partnering countries. It all depends on how ready and comfortable both parties are with the situation.”
He also said “there will be no compromise on any sort of risk”.
“I think we would of course err on the safe side,” said Mr Yau.
The South China Morning Post this week reported that the city recorded the lowest number of daily infections for more than two months.
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