VTL: Daily post-arrival COVID-19 testing extended till 30 January 2022

VTL travellers to Singapore will continue to take daily ARTs for the first 7 days after arrival, as Singapore keeps its state of heightened alert.

Ever since 7 December 2021, Singapore has been requiring VTL travellers to take daily COVID-19 tests for the first seven days of arrival. In addition to a PCR test on Day 1, they must take supervised self-administered ART swabs on Days 3 & 7, plus unsupervised ART swabs on Days 2, 4, 5 and 6. 

This testing requirement was originally supposed to last till 2 January 2022, but the authorities have now extended it by a further four weeks to 30 January 2022. 

Daily COVID testing extended to 30 January 2022

Supervised swabbing at QTC

The MOH has announced that the daily post-arrival testing regime for VTL travellers will be extended until at least 11.59 p.m on 30 January 2022. 

We previously announced that all VTL travellers [1] must undergo COVID-19 tests up till Day 7 of their arrival and strictly adhere to this enhanced testing regime (please see Annex for testing regime) for four weeks in the first instance (until 2 January 2022).

The enhancement has proven effective in detecting imported Omicron cases amongst VTL travellers and reducing onward transmission.

As such, we will be extending the enhanced testing regime for an additional four weeks and will review it as the situation evolves.

The testing regime is applicable to all travellers aged 2 and above, and is summarised below:

🇸🇬 Testing Regime for VTL Travel to Singapore
DayTestCost
Within 2 days before departure to SingaporeProfessional ART/PCR Varies
Day 1 (arrival in Singapore)Air VTL: PCR
Land VTL: ART
S$125 (PCR)
S$15 (ART)
Day 2Self-administered ART~S$5
Day 3Supervised ARTS$15
Day 4Self-administered ART~S$5
Day 5Self-administered ART~S$5
Day 6Self-administered ART~S$5
Day 7Supervised ARTS$15
Professional ART= Someone swabs you
Self-administered ART= You swab yourself, unsupervised
Supervised ART= You swab yourself, supervised

The Day 1 PCR test will be conducted at Changi Airport (land VTL travellers will take an ART instead at the checkpoint), and costs S$125 per person. Following the test, VTL travellers must proceed directly to their accommodation and isolate until a negative result is received.

Day 3 and 7 tests will be conducted under supervision at a Combined Test Centre (CTC) or Quick Test Centre (QTC). These cost S$15 per person per visit, and remember to book an appointment before heading down.

QTC/CTC Locations
Book Appointment
Children aged 3 to 12 must be accompanied by a caregiver aged 21 years old and above for supervised ART swabbing. The caregiver may be required to help administer the test if the child is unable to do so.

Day 2, 4, 5 and 6 tests will be unsupervised and done at home with an approved self-test kit, which costs roughly S$5 each.

Tests must be done before going out for activities on that day (needless to say, you still need to take the test even if you intend to stay home the whole day!), and results submitted via the portal below:

Report ART result (Land)
Report ART result (Air)

What if I’m leaving Singapore before Day 7?

If the traveller’s day of departure from Singapore is on the day of the test, they are exempted from taking their scheduled ART on that day. The traveller’s day of departure from Singapore is defined as the scheduled day of departure of their flight or ferry, or the day they clear departure immigration if they depart by land.

What if I get a positive ART result?

Should a positive ART result be received, travellers must:

  • self-isolate immediately and book an appointment for a confirmatory PCR test at a CTC. The test must be taken no later than 1600 hours the day after testing ART positive, and will be free-of-charge. There is no need to attend their scheduled ART if it falls on the same day as the PCR test. 
  • take private transport, taxi or private hire car to the CTC, and return to their place of accommodation immediately after their test. Use of public transport is not allowed.

If they were planning to depart from Singapore, they should defer their travel plans, attend their confirmatory PCR test, and await their PCR test results. They should not leave their place of accommodation other than to undergo the PCR test and until their PCR test result is confirmed to be negative.

Conclusion

Singapore has extended its daily COVID-19 testing regime for arriving VTL passengers until 30 January 2022. While no one likes taking daily tests, I think we can all agree that it’s far from the worst possible outcome- the VTLs remain open, and most of the ART swabs can be done at home.

The good news is that positive Omicron cases are no longer being sent to NCID, and are eligible for the home recovery programme. That should already be a major burden removed from most travellers’ minds, because trust me, NCID isn’t exactly a holiday chalet. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Kit

Hello Aaron. What card should we use to pay for the PCR test on arrival in Changi Airport?

Adrian

I am only more concerned about the taking the ART before flight. I agree with Aaron that “negative then fly is better than the positive no fly” requirement as that will reduce the “risks” of VTL

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