Malaysia’s Ministry of Health has announced a new relaxation of post-arrival testing requirements for those entering the country on the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with Singapore, axing the requirement for up to five additional antigen tests on Days 2 to 6.
The eased rules will come into effect for arrivals from 3rd March 2022, simplifying the VTL process for travellers and also cutting costs for those making quarantine-free trips.
This comes in advance of a planned extension of the scheme to include air entry points in Penang and Kota Kinabalu, in addition to Kuala Lumpur.
Those travelling quarantine-free from Singapore to Malaysia on the VTL (Air) must have a pre-departure PCR test within two days of departure, followed by an on-arrival (Day 1) PCR test at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
In early December 2021, Malaysia hiked its post-arrival testing regime for VTL travellers to include up five additional tests, depending on the length of your trip, comprising:
- Day 2: Self ART
- Day 3: Professional ART
- Day 4: Self ART
- Day 5: Professional ART
- Day 6: Self ART
While you must wait at KLIA for the results of the on-arrival (Day 1) PCR before clearing immigration, no further isolation is required after taking the Day 2-6 tests.
Results from the Day 2, 4 and 6 self-swab tests must be reported on the MySejahtera app (Apple / Google), while the results of the Day 3 and Day 5 professional ARTs are automatically recorded by the clinic or provider.
These testing requirements apply to all travellers aged two or above.
For those arriving in Malaysia via the VTL (Air) from 3rd March 2022, the following tests will now be required:
- A COVID-19 PCR test within two days before departure from Singapore.
- A COVID-19 PCR test on arrival at KLIA (pre-immigration), and await the results in a designated waiting area (available within 1-3 hours).
No further testing requirements or quarantine / isolation will then apply in Malaysia.
Here’s our latest rundown of the cheapest locations to get a pre-departure PCR test suitable for travel in Singapore, starting at S$96.
There are even competitive options for those preferring to be tested at home, starting at S$128.
When returning to Singapore via the VTL (Air) the following tests are required:
- A COVID-19 PCR or ART test within two days before departure from Malaysia (children aged 2 or below in the calendar year are exempt).
- A COVID-19 supervised ART test within 24 hours of arrival in Singapore (self-isolate until a negative result is received).
Here’s how round-trip testing costs on the VTL (Air) to and from Malaysia will look following removal of the Day 2 to Day 6 tests.
|SG pre-departure (clinic PCR)*||From S$96|
|KL arrival (airport PCR)||S$81 (MY nationals)
S$114 (other nationals)
|MY pre-departure (clinic ART)*||~S$20|
|SG arrival (supervised ART)||S$15|
|Total||~S$212 (MY nationals)
~S$245 (other nationals)
* Prices vary between providers and locations.
This reduces testing costs on this VTL by around S$60, on top of the significant S$150 saving recently realised when Singapore relaxed its VTL arrival testing regime from one PCR and up to six ART tests to a single supervised ART.
Travellers can now expect to part with around S$210 – S$250 on a round-trip between the two countries, most of which is now imposed on the way to Malaysia.
While it’s far from the cheapest VTL in testing terms, at one point this particular arrangement had spiralled to around S$430 – S$460 in testing costs, so these recent changes including the latest relaxation are a welcome improvement.
How does it affect the VTL (Land)?
The VTL (Land) between Singapore and Malaysia works in much the same way as the VTL (Air), except that you can use an ART test pre-departure from Singapore and can expect the same on arrival in Malaysia, making it a cheaper option.
The Day 2 to Day 6 ART testing requirements imposed by Malaysia are common with the VTL (Air), and these will also be removed for VTL (Land) passengers for arrivals from 3rd March 2022.
We recently updated our full list of designated VTL flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, which you’ll need to book in both directions for a quarantine-free trip, as summarised below (click to enlarge).