Last updated: 07 April 2022
Whilst countries try re-open its boarder to encourage international travel, travel bubble become a new norm to keep travellers and the local communities COVID-19 free. To understand more about travel bubbles and where these travel bubbles are, read our guide below:
Travel bubbles are temporary bilateral travel agreement between two countries or territories, aiming to facilitate people movement under the COVID-19 pandemic. There are three types of bubbles that governments are trying to impose, a basic travel bubble, a limited travel bubble and an extended travel bubble.
Basic travel bubble refers to standard public health risk mitigation measures apply between destinations. Limited travel bubbles require a COVID-19 test within 24-48 hours before departure whereas extended travel bubble would require another test within 24-48 hours after arrival as well as testings before departure.
Although the COVID-19 travel restrictions have been lifted for a lot of countries as of April 2022, there are still a few travel bubbles remaining but operating in a bigger scale.
Although movements between the two countries/ territories are allowed, there are some restrictions that might have been agreed between the two governments. These measures are adopted to maintain low infection risk between the two states and they are subject to regular reviews depending on infection rates. Here are some examples of the possible restrictions being imposed by the two countries.
- Negative COVID-19 test certificate required before departure
- COVID-19 test upon arrival
- Access to specific territories only
- Travellers cannot travel to high-risk areas 14 days before travel
- Australia and New Zealand
- Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)
Air bubbles are bilateral agreements between two sovereign states aiming to restart commercial passenger services after international flights being suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It essentially is an agreement that allows airlines in the two countries operate commercial flight again.
Depending on the criteria and requirements agreed in the travel bubble, the passenger may need to meet certain standards before travelling. For example, passengers may need to show a negative COVID-19 test certificate before travelling or haven't been to any high-risk areas before travelling.
A travel bubble is usually formed on the basis that the country achieved a low infection rate and travellers are usually being tested upon arrival or pre-travel, therefore, the risk of being infected is relatively low. However, to minimise the chance of infection, passengers are still recommended to wear face masks and social distance at the airport. Read our blog on 'How to avoid getting sick on a plane' to find out more.