Self-swab ART to be unsupervised for travellers on VTL or from low-risk areas

From Mar 15, a large category of travellers will only need to do an unsupervised self-swab antigen-rapid test within 24 hours of entering Singapore.

Caleb Lau

Grew up a musician, found a calling in photography and writing. Still in love with all of them.

Published: 14 March 2022, 2:26 PM

From Mar 15 onwards, travellers using vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) or coming from places with low infection rates will no longer need to do supervised swab tests at test centres. 

In a statement released last Friday (Mar 11), the Ministry of Health said those entering Singapore under these conditions will instead need to report their unsupervised antigen-rapid test (ART) results online.

Just like the previously imposed supervised testing, the test needs to be taken within the first 24 hours of entering the country.


The new regime is aligned with the ministry’s goal of simplifying border measures and country/region classifications to pave the way for more vaccinated travel. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/NICOLE DESCALSOTA


The ministry reported that imported infection numbers have remained low at around 1 per cent of total daily infections.

This is because many countries have already passed the peak of their Omicron infection waves, the ministry said.

The new testing regime will apply to travellers from areas with low-infection rates like China, Macau and Taiwan and from countries with established VTLs like Hong Kong, Philippines and Thailand

Existing border measures that still apply include a pre-departure ART or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within two days before departure to Singapore.

Meanwhile, those arriving from all other countries and regions will still need to serve a seven-day stay-home notice along with an on-arrival PCR test.

Elaborating at a press conference by the Multi-Ministry Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Lawrence Wong said the authorities plan to introduce the concept of a “vaccinated traveller”, to replace the existing VTLs that differ with countries and regions.

This will further simplify international travel, allowing vaccinated people to travel regardless where they are from, with the proper tests done, he said. 

Latest updates on border requirements can be tracked on the SafeTravel website. Upon arrival, travellers will need to report their test results via the Sync website before proceeding with their activities here.

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