We will now further rationalise our travel protocols by switching to an unsupervised self-swab Antigen Rapid Test (ART) within 24 hours of entry for General Category (Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)) and Category I travellers entering Singapore from 14 March 2022, 2359 hours. This will replace the previous requirement for a supervised self-swab ART.
This will save travellers S$15 (the price they’d pay for a supervised swab at a QTC/CTC), but more importantly, offers greater convenience by scratching yet another thing off the to-do list.
|🌎 Singapore VTL Agreements|
|From 16 March 2022|
|*Brunei, Hong Kong and Indonesia (except Bali) do not currently allow Singapore residents to enter without quarantine|
My sources tell me that it’s more or less a done deal that Singapore will scrap the VTL scheme altogether from 1 April 2022, and this latest simplification only lends further credence to the theories.
VTL travellers can now take self-administered ARTs
From 15 March 2022, all VTL travellers to Singapore will need to take two COVID-19 tests:
- A professionally-administered ART or PCR test within two days of departure to Singapore
- A self-administered ART within 24 hours of arrival, with an approved test kit
With regards to (2), travellers will be required to report their results via sync.gov.sg before proceeding with their activities in Singapore:
- Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders (LTPHs) with SingPass accounts should login to Sync with SingPass to submit results
- LTPHs and short-term visitors without SingPass accounts should login to Sync with their passport number, date of birth and nationality to submit results
As before, fully-vaccinated and recently recovered travellers will be exempt from the on-arrival testing process, although it’s now so straightforward that the real benefit of recent recovery is the ability to take non-VTL flights to Singapore without SHN.
Which ART kits can I use?
Travellers can use any HSA-approved ART kit to carry out their self-administered swab. There are currently 16 approved kits on the list.
Update: Someone has pointed out that HSA’s website also says the following:
“As of 23 December 2021, travellers coming into Singapore are allowed to bring along with them a maximum of 20 self-test kits per individual for their own testing needs. As the test kits authorised for use in Singapore may not be readily available in other countries, travellers can bring in test kits which are approved for use from their country of embarkment.”
I take this to mean that you can use test kits approved in the country you’re travelling from, should you not be able to get your hands on a HSA-approved kit
Unlike certain countries, I don’t see Singapore providing free ART kits on arrival, so travellers should make it a point to bring their own along. In case you forget, it’s possible to get ART kits delivered to your home or hotel via a service like GrabMart.
Revised VTL process to Singapore
With these changes, here’s a summary of the requirements for VTL travel to Singapore, effective 15 March 2022.
|✔️ VTL Eligibility Criteria|
(From 15 Mar 2022)
|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
The MOH has also provided a list of updated border measures, which can be found here.
VTL travellers to Singapore arriving from 15 March 2022 will be allowed to take a self-administered ART instead of a supervised ART.
Personally, I would have preferred if they did away with the pre-departure test while keeping the supervised on-arrival ART, but I’ll take whatever they’re offering.
This surely spells the imminent demise of the VTL concept in favour of a vaccinated/non-vaccinated system, so stay tuned for further updates very soon.