The launch of a travel corridor between Hong Kong and Singapore has been postponed for two weeks amid a surge of Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong.

The deal was due to kick in on Sunday, allowing passengers to fly both ways without the need to self-isolate.

The decision is a blow to attempts by the two financial hubs to revive their battered travel sectors.

Hong Kong reported 43 new infections on Saturday, the highest daily toll in nearly three months.

The number includes 13 cases with unknown transmission sources, raising fears the local outbreak could get out of control.

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“Today’s decision is a responsible decision,” Hong Kong Commerce Secretary Edward Yau told reporters. “For any scheme to be successful, it must fulfil the conditions of securing public health and also making sure that both sides [are] comfortable and feel safe about the scheme.”

The decision will be revisited in early December, he added.

Under the travel bubble arrangement, travellers would be required to take a Covid-19 test before departure and upon arrival. There would be no restrictions on the purpose of travel but passengers would have to take designated flights, and a maximum of 200 people would be allowed to travel each way per day.

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