All VTL travellers to S'pore must take daily Covid-19 ART tests from Dec. 7

This enhanced testing regime will remain in place for at least four weeks.

Jane Zhang | December 07, 2021, 01:08 PM

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All travellers arriving in Singapore via air on a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) from today (Dec. 7) onwards must take daily antigen rapid tests (ARTs) for seven days after arrival.

The intensified testing regime comes amidst the spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, which early clinical observations have found to possibly have increased transmissibility and a higher likelihood of reinfection.

Daily testing regime

Previously, it was announced on Nov. 30 that VTL travellers entering Singapore from 11:59pm on Dec. 2 by air would need to undergo supervised self-administered ARTs at a Quick Test Centre on Days 3 and 7 of their arrival, in addition to their on-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

However, on Dec. 3, the Ministry of Health (MOH) updated the testing regime for VTL travellers — for both air and land — mandating that all VTL travellers entering Singapore from 11:59pm on Dec. 6 would be put on a daily ART testing regime over seven days.

All VTL travellers must undergo:

  • A pre-departure test within 2 days before departure for Singapore
  • An on-arrival PCR test upon arriving in Singapore
  • Supervised ARTs at a Combined Test Centre (CTC) or Quick Test Centre (QTC) on Days 3 and 7
  • Self-administered ARTs on Days 2, 4, 5, and 6

Travellers will be required to submit the results of their self-administered ARTs online using a link sent to them via their declared contact details after arrival in Singapore.

During this seven day period — other than the days when they go out for their supervised ARTs — travellers must test negative on their self-administered ART before going out for activities that day.

This enhanced testing regime will remain in place for at least four weeks until Jan. 2, 2022, at 11:59pm.

Tightened border measures

In addition to enhancing the testing regime, Singapore also tightened its border measures on several countries.

Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, and Poland — who were all previously Category II countries — were moved to Category III from 11:59pm on Dec. 6.

In addition, MOH announced that Singapore would extend its travel restrictions to more countries that have seen a spike in Omicron cases, to enhance the country's precautionary stance.

From 11:59pm on Dec. 4, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Ghana, Malawi, and Nigeria within the last 14 days are not allowed to enter Singapore, or to transfer or transit through Singapore.

This restriction also applies to those who have obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore.

These restrictions will apply for at least four weeks, after which MOH will review and extend them if necessary.

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Top photo by Mothership.