Changi Airport News Travel VTL

VTL arrivals in Singapore can now take public transport to their home or hotel

Travellers arriving in Singapore on the VTL, or those from Category 1 countries, are now allowed to take bus and train services from Changi Airport to their place of accommodation, even if they've yet to complete their on-arrival test.

Singapore is further loosening its on-arrival requirements for VTL travellers, who since the scheme’s inception have been subject to taking private transport, such as a taxi or private hire car, from Changi Airport to their home or place of accommodation prior to receiving a negative on-arrival test result.


This removed the cheaper option of direct bus and MRT links, which for some travellers were also more convenient too, but presumably was a rule enforced given the perceived risk posed while their COVID-19 status was still ‘unknown’, at the Singapore side at least.

There was a slight concession already

From 15th March 2022 VTL passengers arriving in Singapore have no longer been subject to in-person testing of any kind, instead simply instructed to take a self-swab ART test at their place of accommodation within 24 hours of clearing arrival immigration.

Travellers have still been required to take private transport from the airport, but there was already a nod to those who had moved one step ahead of the game and self-tested before leaving the terminal in the first place!

“Travellers who have not taken their unsupervised self-swab ART and submitted their negative result before leaving the airport, can only take private transportation, taxi, or private hire car to their accommodation or to a testing centre.

“Travelers are only allowed to take public transport (e.g. public bus, trains) and stop self-isolation at their accommodation after the submission of a negative test result.”

Singapore ICA, 22nd March 2022

In other words, if you could find a quiet corner, or head to the restrooms and take your self-administered ART test there, then wait 15 minutes for the result, you could quite legitimately submit a negative swab report via the weblink provided and then hop on the MRT, or take a bus home or to your hotel.

The self-isolation requirement would no longer apply, with immediate effect.


This wasn’t really practical or necessary for most travellers, however, who simply took a taxi or Grab / GoJek back home then took their swab test there.

VTL arrivals can now take public transport

Effective from 23rd March 2022, the ICA has relaxed its requirements for arriving VTL travellers, and for those arriving from Category 1 countries.

You are now permitted to leave Changi Airport via either private or public transportation, however you must still isolate at your place of accommodation until you have obtained a negative ART test result and submitted it.

“[VTL] Travellers are allowed to depart from the airport via any form of transportation (e.g. public bus, train, private transport, taxi or private hire car). However, they may only proceed with their activities after testing negative on their ART and submitting their result.”

Singapore ICA, 23rd March 2022

Apart from VTL arrivals who were willing to swab before leaving the terminal, this option was already available to recently-recovered travellers arriving into Singapore, but now all VTL, Category 1 and recently-recovered travellers are eligible.

VTL travellers arriving into Changi Airport can now take the MRT or a bus service to their accommodation

Travellers who are returning via the General Lane from Category 3 or 4 countries, or from Category 2 countries on non-VTL flights, will still be required to travel directly to their declared Stay-Home Notice (SHN) accommodation using private transport, taxis (including street-hailed taxis) or private-hire car (GrabSHN, Go-Jek, Ryde, MVL Tada).

How the VTL on-arrival test works

In case you missed the news, Singapore significantly simplified its VTL on-arrival test requirement earlier this month, now allowing all travellers using the quarantine-free scheme (and those arriving from Category 1 countries), to take a self-swab ART test.


This replaced a mandatory visit to a QTC/CTC location in Singapore to have a supervised test conducted within 24 hours of arrival, or an online supervised Tele-ART consultation.

VTL travellers arriving in Singapore can now take a simple 15-minute ART test at their place of accommodation to be free of any self isolation requirement, once a negative result is obtained and reported.

You must complete the post-arrival self-test using either:

Remember these kits are not provided to travellers on arrival, they must instead be self procured.

The on-arrival VTL test is only required for travellers aged two or above in the current calendar year (i.e. those born in 2020 or later, for those arriving in 2022).

Unlike in some countries, which use an honour system for post-arrival testing, travellers are required to report their negative test result via “before proceeding with their activities in Singapore” (even though taking a bus or train home from the airport is now ok).

  • 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.
Reporting your on-arrival test result via Sync is simple

No photographic evidence of your test result is required.

If your on-arrival ART test is positive, you must self-isolate for at least 72 hours. You can then end isolation following a negative self-ART test.




The option for VTL travellers and those arriving in Singapore from Category 1 countries to take public transport to their home or hotel after picking up their bags at Changi Airport means more flexibility for many whose trip is well served by bus and train connections.

It can also mean a significant cost saving, with a GrabCar to take you downtown often costing S$25+ during surge pricing periods, compared to just S$2 on the MRT.

This is another welcome step towards pre-COVID travel, with hopefully more good news to come as Singapore progressively relaxes its border measures in the weeks ahead.

The next step will be for Singapore to drop the on-arrival test altogether (we think they’ll keep pre-departure testing for the time being, even under a simplified upcoming post-VTL scheme).

With travellers already free to make their way home or to their hotel by any transport, surely this is the first step towards ditching the post-arrival swab altogether.

(Cover Photo: Chuttersnap)



  1. I m a work permit holder and have been staying here in Singapore continuously since February 2020. I have not seen my new born baby yet due to border restrictions. Really I m appreciating Singapore Government for realizing restrictions progressively. But my humble request to government to reduce the SHN fee, as $1015 for 7days consider a huge amount for us, and just because of this we don’t dare to back home to visit family, as well as air ticket prices have touched the sky. How could we visit our family as have to pay a large amount for air ticket and SHN?
    I would like to hear good news for work permit holder as government has considered us a part of Singapore.
    Thanks to MOM and MOH as well for their leading support.

  2. “The on-arrival VTL test is only required for travellers aged two or above in the current calendar year (i.e. those born in 2020 or later, for those arriving in 2022).”

    Should this be born in 2020 or “earlier” rather than later?

  3. Hi I need to know what the procedure to bring documents to declare in custom SG can you share with me
    Should 1 need qurentine if I took bus from kl to jb larkin what the requirements
    Can you please this is my 1st time back to meet my sbiling

  4. Hi ,
    I’m a work permit holder from the CMP construction, marine and processing sector , I live in the community for the 14 years , does it still require for me to go and stay in the government onboard SHN and pay for the cost , while I can stay at my residence.

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