No more supervised ART for VTL travellers to S'pore after Jan. 23, 2022

They only need to take the test on their own.

Joshua Lee | January 21, 2022, 04:17 PM

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The Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) announced updates to the Covid-19 testing regimes for Singapore's Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) travellers.

VTL travellers entering Singapore after January 23, 2022, 2359 hours via both air and land checkpoints will only be required to do unsupervised self-administered Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) from Day 2 to Day 7 of their arrivals if they need to leave their place of residence or accommodation.

They do not need to submit their results, but they need to test negative before going out.

The current testing regime requires VTL travellers to conduct unsupervised self-administered ART on Days 2, 4, 5 and 6 and supervised ART on Days 3 and 7 from their arrival.

Travellers who test positive don't need a confirmatory PCR test

VTL travellers who test positive on arrival or while taking their self-administered test will no longer need to take a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

They will only need to recover under Protocol 2.

This means that they will need to stop work and social activities. They will also need to self-isolate for 72 hours before doing a self-administered ART. Their self-isolation will stop once they get a negative result.

The Ministry of Health also said that travellers who are potentially at risk should visit a doctor if they test positive for Covid-19. At-risk profiles include:

  • Fully vaccinated and aged 70 years and above;
  • Unvaccinated/partially vaccinated and aged 50 years and above;
  • Aged 5 years and below;
  • Had an organ transplant surgery in the past;
  • Have any disease or are taking any medication that weakens the immune system;
  • Have been diagnosed with cancer (including blood cancers) before;
  • Are on dialysis;
  • Are diagnosed with HIV or AIDS;
  • Have a disease affecting your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, or brain that required hospital admission in the last six months;
  • Are pregnant;
  • Are less than 12 years old and have any congenital condition or growth disorder that affects the heart, lungs or brain; or
  • Are less than 12 years old and have Diabetes Mellitus or hypertension.

Recently recovered travellers exempted from testing requirements

The Ministry of Health also announced that travellers who recently recovered from Covid-19 (within 90 days of their last infection) and are fully vaccinated will be exempted from all testing and SHN requirements after January 23, 2022, 11:59pm.

Travellers who have recently recovered but are not fully vaccinated will also be exempted from pre-departure testing requirements. However, they will still be subjected to all other prevailing border measures.

The exemptions will only apply if the travellers are able to provide documentary proof in the form of a positive test result and a discharge memo.

The ministry said those who recently recovered from Covid-19 tend to continue shedding viral fragments which are not infectious. Hence they might test positive for Covid-19 but do not pose an infection risk.

More information about the updates to the VTL testing regimes and border measures can be found at the SafeTravel website.

Top image credit: Wikipedia.