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13 building plans approved in Nov

The Buildings Department approved 13 building plans in November - two on Hong Kong Island, six in Kowloon and five in the New Territories.   Of the approved plans, eight were for apartment and apartment-commercial developments, two for commercial developments, one for factory and industrial developments, and two for community services developments.   Consent was given for works to start on 11 building projects which will provide 210,471 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 2,595 units and 83,060 sq m for non-domestic use.   Additionally, the department received notification of commencement of superstructure works for nine building projects.   The department also issued 16 occupation permits - three on Hong Kong Island, five in Kowloon and eight in the New Territories.   Buildings certified for occupation have 53,034 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 1,355 units and 168,627 sq m for non-domestic use. http://dlvr.it/Sh3Dtw

Travel bubble relaunches May 26

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Government today announced that flights under the Hong Kong-Singapore Air Travel Bubble (ATB) will begin on May 26 with more stringent public health protocols.   The air travel bubble, announced last year, was deferred due to the developments of the COVID-19 epidemic in Hong Kong.   Under the more stringent measures, Hong Kong residents travelling under the ATB can only take designated flights to Singapore at least 14 days after they have had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.   Announcing the scheme's relaunch at a press conference today, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau said the vaccination requirement was aimed at encouraging Hong Kong citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible for better self-protection against COVID-19 when travelling.   “As we all know, having (been) vaccinated (means) you (have) got a higher protection for your own self. Therefore, we consider this as something that we should do and also (are) capable of doing because of the availability of (vaccines) in Hong Kong, not to mention the choice (of vaccines people) can have.”   Riding on the original arrangement, the two governments will impose more stringent measures on travel history prior to departure, the mechanism to suspend or resume the ATB and contact tracing, details of which can be found here.   Mr Yau hoped the ATB, if successfully implemented, could serve as the basis upon which similar arrangements could be made with other economies.   “This will be something we need to look at on a bilateral basis, whether we consider the other partner (as) having a very stable and safe situation.   “Since we started this conversation and dialogue in the middle of last year, we have been keeping in touch with a number of economies, updating them (on) the progress.   “For instance, immediately after the agreement with Singapore, I am going to let some other partners, for instance New Zealand, Australia know that we have this arrangement and we can use that as a basis for further discussion with them. And subject to a bilateral consensus, I think this process can be carried on.”
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