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Hong Kong reports 43 new coronavirus cases as Singapore travel bubble beckons

FILE PHOTO: Tourists wearing face masks listen to an instructor inside Hong Kong News-Expo during a Hong Kong Tourism Board's free local tour, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Hong Kong, China November 1,2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong reported 43 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, one day before an arrangement with Singapore to allow a limited number of passengers to fly both ways without having to go through quarantine kicks in.

Hong Kong has been spared the dramatic escalation of coronavirus cases seen in other major cities, but the rise was big by its standards, with daily cases having mostly been in the single-digits or low double-digits in recent weeks.

Out of the 43 cases, 36 were locally transmitted.

The rise comes as a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore is due to begin on Sunday.

Under the arrangement, people would be allowed to travel between the two cities without observing quarantine but must take a COVID-19 test before departure and upon arrival. There would be no restrictions on the purpose of travel.

Hong Kong has recorded over 5,500 coronavirus cases and 108 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began.

Reporting by Julie Zhu and Twinnie Siu; Editing by Lincoln Feast.