More good news for Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) passengers, with the announcement that those arriving in the city on the quarantine-free scheme from 15th March 2022 onwards will now be able to perform a self-administered ART test at home or in their hotel, rather than take a supervised swab.
This will save travellers around S$15, currently levied at QTC/CTC supervised swab locations, or at least S$12 for an online supervised Tele-ART consultation, though the cost of the ART test kit itself will be borne by the passenger, at around S$5.
This will bring the VTL programme, almost certainly now in the final throes of its existence, to the simplest testing protocol yet.
Mainly Miles understands the VTL concept could be canned by 1st April 2022, paving the way for fully vaccinated travellers to arrive quarantine-free from almost any country, on any flight.
This is something we’ll all be eager to hear about, and we’ll bring you the details on that welcome development as we receive them.
The new testing process
VTL travellers heading to Singapore from 15th March 2022 will still have to conduct two tests:
- A clinic (professional) ART or PCR test in their VTL country within two days of departure to Singapore
- A self-administered ART swab within 24 hours of clearing arrival immigration, using an approved test kit
That means travel from most countries will now cost somewhere in the region of S$35 in total per passenger, depending on the cost and availability of clinic ART testing overseas.
It’s a far cry from some of the higher costs we’ve seen for the scheme, including when PCR testing and daily post-arrival tests were mandated.
You must complete the post-arrival self-test using either:
- an approved kit authorised for use in Singapore, as outlined here by the Health Sciences Authority, or
- a rapid test kit approved in your origin country, if you are bringing your own kits from overseas.
Remember these kits are not provided to travellers on arrival, they must instead be self procured.
Unlike in some countries, which use an honour system for post-arrival testing, travellers will be required to report their negative test result via sync.gov.sg “before proceeding with their activities in Singapore”.
- For Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders (LTPHs) with SingPass accounts, that means logging into Sync using your SingPass to submit your results.
- If you’re an LTPH or short-term visitor without a SingPass account, you should log into Sync using your passport number, date of birth and nationality, in order to report your negative result.
We expect no photographic evidence will be requested, in the same way self-ART test reports were conducted in a previous version of the post-arrival VTL testing programme.
While it’s great to save around S$10, and the VTL scheme is coming to an end soon anyway, the major benefit of this announcement for our readers flying to Singapore soon will be convenience. Simply arrive at home (or at your hotel) and take a 15-minute ART test, report your negative result, then all isolation requirements will cease.
Remember the VTL tests (both pre-departure and post-arrival) continue to be required only for travellers aged two or above in the current calendar year (i.e. those born in 2020 or later, for those arriving in 2022).
Just yesterday we were reporting on a 24-hour Tele-ART possibility for those taking their VTL supervised on-arrival swabs, but already Singapore is moving to a far more relaxed self-administered process, meaning travellers can be free from isolation almost immediately, just for the cost of an approved ART kit.
The most exciting part of the news though is that the messaging continues to validate our recent report outlining a scrapping of the VTL concept altogether in the coming weeks, in favour of welcoming vaccinated travellers from all countries, most importantly without the annoying ‘designated VTL flight’ concept attached!
Let’s hope we can be happily moving into this next important phase of less-complex and cheaper travel in the coming weeks, as the government has alluded to today, and we can finally put this ‘long in the tooth’ VTL idea to bed.
(Cover Photo: Changi Airport Group)