Good news: Tele-ARTs can now be used as pre-departure tests when returning to Singapore from any country

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Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and LTPHs can now use tele-ARTs as pre-departure tests when returning to Singapore from any country.

Just last week, I wrote about Singapore’s messy and confusing overseas tele-ART policy, which allows Singapore residents to use a video supervised tele-ART as a pre-departure test when returning to Singapore, but only from certain countries.

In my mind, there was no good reason why some countries were on the list but not others; you could take a tele-ART when coming to Singapore from Yemen, but not Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia! 

But now there’s some very good news. Singapore residents will be permitted to take a tele-ART from approved Singapore-based providers when returning from any country in the world.

Tele-ARTs now available from any country 

Singapore residents can now take a tele-ART when returning to Singapore from anywhere in the world

From 5 April 2022, Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, Work Pass Holders and Long Term Pass Holders may take a remotely supervised tele-ART when returning home from any country. 

You can tap on the real-time remote supervised self-swab offered by an approved ART providers listed below, regardless of the country or region you are in.

-Ministry of Health

This replaces the previous restricted list of just 52 eligible countries, which had interesting inclusions like Iran and Kuwait (neither of which has direct flights to Singapore), but not ASEAN countries which you think could have really used the option!

The MOH further specifies that tele-ART services should “only be used for fulfilling the Pre-Departure Test (PDT) requirement for travel to Singapore”. In other words, you shouldn’t be using it to fulfil travel requirements to third countries, e.g. taking a tele-ART in Frankfurt for travel to New York. 

You may not take a tele-ART if you are a short-term visitor, e.g. a German national visiting Singapore as a tourist. 

Singapore’s pre-departure test requirement

As a reminder, travellers are currently required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 2 days of departure to Singapore.

⚠️ 2 days, not 48 hours!
Do note that the testing window is 2 days, not 48 hours. For example, if your flight departs at 10 p.m on Wednesday, you can take your test anytime from 12.01 a.m on Monday onwards.

This test can be: 

  1. A professionally-administered PCR test
  2. A professionally-administered antigen rapid test (ART)
  3. A self-administered ART remotely supervised by an approved ART provider in Singapore

Option (3) is only available to travellers who are:

  • Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, Long Term Pass Holders or Work Pass Holders
  • using an approved ART provider in Singapore

Travellers who have recently recovered from COVID-19 may be exempt from the pre-departure test requirement, provided they meet the following conditions:

  1. Fully vaccinated
  2. Present a positive COVID-19 PCR or professionally-administered ART dated between 7-90 days before departure for Singapore, or a medical discharge memo featuring date of infection between 7-90 days before departure for Singapore

Either document in (2) must mention the traveller’s full name, and identity number or date of birth. 

If you contracted COVID-19 in Singapore and got your infection recorded in the HealthHub system, you may use that as proof to enter Singapore without pre-departure testing during the 7-90 day window. Do note that the result must be tagged with “licensed provider” as shown below; “self-administered” results are not accepted. 

If in doubt, refer to the ICA’s self-check tool to determine your eligibility for vaccinated-recovered traveller concessions.

Cheapest overseas tele-ARTs

The MOH has approved 93 different providers to offer supervised tele-ARTs for pre-departure testing to Singapore. 

Here’s a list of the cheapest providers on the market. Do remember that you’ll need to add ~S$5 for the cost of your own HSA-approved ART kit. The MOH also allows the use of test kits approved in the country travellers are returning to Singapore from. 

📹 Overseas Tele-ARTs
ProviderOperating Hours
(SGT)
🠕 Price*
MyCLNQ24 hoursS$12
Hidoc8.30 a.m to 5.30 p.m
(weekdays only)
S$12
Minmed9 a.m to 9 p.m 
(weekdays only)
S$12
Kingston Medical24 hoursS$12
(+S$13 from 6 p.m to 9 a.m)
Intemedical8 a.m to 11 p.mS$15
Swab N Go10 a.m to 7 p.mS$15
DoctorAnywhere8 a.m to 10 p.mS$21.40
Swab Station8 a.m to 5 p.mS$25
BCH-ART8 a.m to 9 p.mS$25
Healthway Medical9 a.m to 9 p.m
(9 a.m to 5 p.m on weekend/ PH)
S$25
Speedoc8 a.m to 8 p.mS$26.75
RMDY Clinic9 a.m to 5.30 p.mS$26.80
Unihealth7.30 a.m to 12 a.mS$29
(+S$20-31 for after hours, weekend and PH)
Raffles Connect24 hoursS$30
Belief Family Clinic24 hoursS$30
(+S$10-30 for after hours, weekend and PH)
*Must provide your own HSA-approved ART kit, which adds ~S$5 to the total price

Do note that Doctor Anywhere has just hiked its price from S$12.84 to S$21.40, but fortunately there are still numerous options at the S$12 mark. 

What happens during a tele-ART?

Tele-ARTs are extremely straightforward; all you need is a pair of ART kits (one to use, one for backup) and a decent internet connection.

Some providers have their own apps, others will use Whatsapp or Zoom to conduct the test. Either way, you will:

  • Show the supervisor your identification (passport or IC) and confirm your itinerary
  • Show the supervisor the ART kit’s serial number, open the kit and perform the swab
  • Leave the camera on and trained on the ART kit for the next 15 minutes (you don’t need to be physically present during this time)
  • Return to the camera, show the result and upload a photo if requested

The entire process (including waiting) should not take more than 20 minutes. Following this, the provider will update HealthHub and send you the travel certificate within their stipulated timeframe.

Do note that some providers request the serial number of the ART kit at the time of booking, so you may need to purchase it in advance.

Conclusion

Singapore residents are now permitted to take a convenient video supervised tele-ART when returning to Singapore from any country in the world, which is fantastic news. This saves you the trouble of having to hunt down an overseas health centre (and exposing yourself to potential infection), and saves precious vacation time.

Rumour has it that Singapore will be removing the pre-departure test entirely in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for further developments. 

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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S H

Great news indeed. Anyone can kindly advise which of the tele-Art providers here uses whatsapp call instead of zoom/app? Wanted to ask my elderly parents to use this, but they are not good with app/zoom and whatsapp is probably the one they know what to do.

Beed

Do you think domestic helpers holding work permit are included?

Spoon

“Min Ong, the Milelion carried an article the other day which has been reposted on various forums on the internet. I propose a new solution which my S-paper scholar mind should have thought of when I came up with the earlier scatterbrain idea but did not but which I will now claim as my genius and help with my KPI targets for 2022.”

Spoon

Oops. Exposed.

stan

thought it is known as H3? 🙂

Alian

Can we use our PDT ART to our outbound country as our inbound PDT back to SG? Got a flight to KL on Friday returning on Sunday. Hoping to keep it to just one test

Efsu

Yes.
Frequently Asked Questions (ica.gov.sg) -> mentioned here under no.5

Alian

Thanks. This is useful

Max

This is the best news! Thanks Aaron! Btw, do you have the link to the MOH press release? I can’t seem to find it :/ thank you!

PM Pai

Aaron nice article. You have mentioned that art kits locally approved in the country of departure is ok for tele art test as per MOH. But have i formed by the clinic in singapore and given a link to MOH article where it is mentioned that only locally approved kits are permitted for tele art test. Pl can you provide your source for the claim that locally approved kits are ok. I am in US and hence CDC approved kit should be ok. How do i convince my singapore tele art supervisor on this. There is a need for the… Read more »

freedom

The local tele-ART provider has full freedom to reject any ART kits they are not familiar with. It is not an obligation.

Last edited 8 months ago by freedom
SSS

Thanks Aaron. Any idea why tele-ARTs are not available to short term visitors? This has also seemed like an odd distinction (would’ve thought quality would be best controlled from SG)?

Bryan

Can we use Tele Art as a PDT for air travel out of Singapore, for example Malaysia ?

Addy

Thanks for the informative article and the list of tele-art providers. From the list of tele-art providers, I did a quick look across some, and noticed a lot of them are really unreliable and have bad app reviews. Any recommended one if cheapest price is not a concern?

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