Good news: Doctor Anywhere tele-supervised ARTs now valid for VTL on-arrival testing

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Land. Tele-swab. Freedom. DA's Tele-ARTs promise to make on-arrival testing for VTL travellers as painless as possible.

Singapore embarks on a major relaxation of its border measures from today, which will see simplified testing for VTL travellers, a reduction in the maximum SHN duration, mandatory hotel quarantine effectively abolished, and the removal of entry approval requirements for long-term passholders. 

🇸🇬 Eased border measures
  • Supervised ARTs replace on-arrival PCR tests for Category I and VTL travellers
  • No more Day 2-7 testing for VTL travellers
  • Maximum SHN duration cut to 7 days; no more mandatory hotel quarantine
  • VTP or entry approval no longer required for fully vaccinated LTP holders (except work permit holders)
  • Relevant travel history period shortened to 7 days
  • No more COVID-19 testing requirement for transit passengers; freedom of movement in transit area

It’s all good stuff, but the most exciting change for me is the switch from PCR tests to supervised ART swabs for incoming VTL travellers. This is not only cheaper (S$15 vs S$125), it also minimises the self-isolation period (15 minutes vs up to 8 hours). 

From 22 February 2022, all arriving VTL passengers must book and take a supervised ART swab within 24 hours of arrival at a designated QTC/CTC. Travellers must isolate themselves until a negative result is received, which means getting tested should be the first order of business. 

But you won’t even need to travel to a QTC/CTC. Doctor Anywhere (DA) tele-supervised ART swabs can now be used to satisfy the VTL testing requirement, allowing you to swab from the comfort of home. 

DA Tele-ART Service now valid for VTL on-arrival testing

DA Tele-ART

I’ve previously written about DA Tele-ART, a tele-supervised ART that’s accepted for pre-event, pre-departure and on-arrival testing. This is a pilot programme run in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, so you can be assured it’s all above board. 

The Tele-ART service is available daily from 9 a.m to 6 p.m and costs S$12.84 nett, plus the cost of your own HSA-approved ART kit (roughly S$5). 

DA has now confirmed (via a push notification) that its Tele-ART service is acceptable for on-arrival testing.

When booking an appointment on the DA app, you’ll be able to select “VTL Arrival in Singapore (D1 swab)” as the reason for taking an ART.

Presumably, if you book an appointment via the DA app there’s no need to use the link that the ICA sends you. One would assume their systems are all synced up on the back end, so ICA should know that you’ve fulfilled the requirement. 

Do note that each traveller will need to use his/her own DA account to book a supervised ART appointment. You cannot book appointments for multiple people on the same account.

You will receive your certified supervised ART test results in-app immediately, and over SMS/email within 4 hours. 

Tele-ART cuts out the hassle of travelling to a QTC/CTC (it is possible to book the Raffles Medical clinic in the basement of Terminal 3, but slots are disappearing fast). It also means that you could theoretically find a quiet spot in the airport to swab, and once cleared, take public transport home. 

How do Tele-ARTs work?

If you’re curious as to how the Tele-ART process works, you can refer to the step by step guide here.

Basically, you’ll need to make an appointment on the DA app, during which you’ll register your own HSA-approved ART kit and provide your personal details. During the appointment, you’ll do the following:

After the appointment, your validated results will be received within via SMS/email. However, you will also have supervised ART results in-app immediately. 

Recap: New VTL process

Here’s a summary of the simplified VTL process that takes effect from today (22 February 2022):

✔️ VTL Eligibility Criteria
All
  • 7-day travel history only includes Singapore and/or VTL countries and/or Category I countries
  • Fully vaccinated with any vaccine on the WHO EUL^
  • Complete SG Arrival Card
  • Present negative pre-departure ART/PCR test taken within 2 days of flight to Singapore*
  • Take designated VTL flight to Singapore
  • Take supervised ART within 24 hours of arrival and isolate until negative result received*
Short-term visitors & Work permit holders
*Children aged 2 or under in the current calendar year are exempt
^Exception for children aged 12 and below, if they are accompanied by vaccinated traveller

In addition to the simplified on-arrival testing regime, the requirement to do Day 2-7 self-administered ARTs has been removed, and there is no need for fully vaccinated long-term passholders to apply for a VTP (with the exception of work permit holders).

You can catch up with all the stories below:

Conclusion

VTL travellers to Singapore make the switch from PCR tests to ARTs today, which is great news in terms of money and time saved. It’s even better now that you can do a tele-ART in lieu of visiting a QTC/CTC, making the arrivals process as painless as possible (well, nose violation aside). 

If you have experiences with DA Tele-ART, do share. How long do you typically wait for the results?

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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Yok Teng

This is fantastic news coming just in time for my trip in March! I’ll reach out with any worthwhile updates if they develop

Tom

Thanks for sharing the information!
Hopefully they will also allow this service for pre-departure ART testing when we are overseas about to return to Singapore via VTL.

Wendy

Indeed, this will be most welcome. In SG, it is easy and cost effective to do it even at clinic but it may be a different story when we are overseas.
Moreover the purpose of doing pre-departure ART test is to assure over govt that we are clear of COVID before coming back

Yang

Can DA tele-art be used for 48h pre-departure test before coming back to Singapore too?

Kev

Interested to know this too

bizflyer

That’s good news. But what would be even more brilliant is the since the DA supervised self swab can be done anywhere in the world as long as one has Internet connection n a computer or phone video cam, MOH or ICA shld accept this as a form of pre-departure ART from overseas back to Sg. DA just potentially just opened up a worldwide market for itself and it just needs to convince MOH or ICA that there’s no difference doing such a test sitting in a hotel room in London vs at home in AMK.

Phil

“each traveller will need to use his/her own DA account to book a supervised ART appointment. You cannot book appointments for multiple people on the same account.”

Is it possible for a three year-old to make a Doctor Anywhere account?

Doreen

Yes this is what i did. Very inconvenient but that’s the only way it seem

Stephen

Do you know whether the DA ART verification can be used for PDT in countries to Singapore where accessing medically-supervised ART PDT can be difficult?

Kev

Hi Aaron, does this mean we can’t take use DA ART in Melbourne Airport for Pre-Departure Testing for flight to Singapore? I read from the Aus Govt websites that Australia itself does not require Pre-Departure Testing for outbound travallers.

Stephen

That’s right – the only requirement for ART PDT is imposed by Singapore Government as a condition for using a VTL flight, so struggling to see why using a Singapore telemedicine provider and a Singapore-approved ART kit would be an issue?

W L

This is good, and it would even be excellent if it was offered 24/7, or at least from around 5am (When the first flights tend to land). As it stands, I will be flying into Changi around 5:15am and will have to wait until 8:30am or 9am until most ART test centres open. If DA offered a supervised tele-ART from 5 or 6am onwards, I would even be willing to pay $20 or even $30 more to be able to get it done then, rather than having to wait until 9am. Seeing as you seem to have such a good… Read more »

Yok Teng

I’ve reached out to someone in Business Development at DA to suggest the 2 potential services, let’s hope that good news will eventually result from it

Bjoern

Hi all. Is the Doctor Anywhere ART test accepted as pre-departure test for travel to Australia (Queensland)?

Robs

Just for reference regarding this paragraph:

Tele-ART cuts out the hassle of travelling to a QTC/CTC (it is possible to book the Raffles Medical clinic in the basement of Terminal 3, but slots are disappearing fast).

Even though the Raffles Medical clinic is 24 hours, the VTL ART swabs available for booking is only a limited hour window i.e. 9am – 5pm so if you land outside of those hours you can’t book 🙁

Last edited 5 months ago by Robs
sevilles

Be very careful when booking advance appointments on the DA app while you’re still abroad. The times shown in the app are not Singapore time, but the times at the location that you’re in. I thought I booked a 1:30 PM appointment while in London, only found out that my appointment was actually 9:30 PM when DA sent me a text message to confirm about two days prior to my appointment! You need to account for the timezone difference, which can be confusing. Very stupid design for an appointment booking app, where appointments are for people physically in Singapore and… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by sevilles
Luis

Coupe of question:
– Can you buy ART kits on arrival into Singapore?
– Can I use the same test for arrival and pre-departue (to US)?

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