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Singapore Tele-ART pre-departure tests can now be taken when returning from ANY country

Great News: You can now take a supervised Tele-ART pre-departure test when returning to Singapore from any country, opening up the option in many popular Asia-Pacific locations for the first time.

Update 10th April
Lion Health now offers the cheapest overseas video pre-departure ART test at S$9

Update 7th April
Minmed is now offering PDT Tele-ARTs at S$12

Update 6th April
Swab N Go has reduced its PDT Tele-ART pricing from S$20 to S$15

Good news for returning Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass Holders, with the Ministry of Health (MOH) now approving supervised Tele-ART swabs conducted by Singapore-based providers as eligible pre-departure tests when returning quarantine-free from any country in the world.

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This replaces a previous limitation, which required you to be physically present in one of 52 approved countries (at the last count), with only had one option in South East Asia, which has been quite restrictive for many of our readers taking regional trips.

The latest relaxation will make returning to Singapore under the new Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) simpler than ever for residents, and hopefully comes ahead of an eventual removal of pre-departure testing requirements for all fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the city, in the coming weeks.

Travellers returning to Singapore from a Bangkok trip are now able to use a Tele-ART pre-departure test provider based in Singapore to meet PDT requirements. (Photo: Shutterstock)

All countries are now recognised

Until 4th April 2022, the new supervised Tele-ART service pre-departure test for Singapore residents returning home was only available to those physically present in the following 52 countries.

PDT Tele-ART approved countries
(prior to 5 April – no longer in force)

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Andorra
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ Bahrain
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ Bulgaria

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ Cyprus
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Rep.
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Egypt
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Hungary

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท Iran
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ด Jordan

๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ผ Kuwait

๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Liechtenstein
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Lithuania
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จ Monaco
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands

๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway
๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ฒ Oman
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal
๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Qatar
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Romania
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi Arabia
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia

๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland

๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Turkey
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช UAE
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA

๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฆ Vatican City
๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ช Yemen

The most recent additions included Canada, South Korea and Switzerland, but popular regional quarantine-free countries like Thailand and Indonesia were still excluded, to the annoyance of many.

Thankfully from 5th April 2022 the MOH has now opened up the option regardless of which country you are returning from or taking your test in.

“You can [use] real-time remote supervised self-swab offered by an approved ART providers… regardless of the country or region you are in.”

Singapore Ministry of Health

MOH continues to state that you should not use the Tele-ART “for any other purpose the country or region you are departing from may require testing for, unless the relevant authorities of the country/region have expressly permitted you to do so”.

MOH now also adds:

“You are responsible for complying with the regulations and other local requirements from the country or region you will be departing from.”

Singapore Ministry of Health

In other words, this approval is for pre-departure ARTs to satisfy Singapore only, not for testing if you suspect you are COVID-19 positive while you are overseas. For those cases, you should refer to guidance from authorities in your current location for testing, reporting and any applicable isolation requirements.

An ART test kit showing a negative result

You can therefore now utilise the overseas supervised video ART service within two days of departure before leaving any country.

Remember this is not a ‘carte blanche’ approval to use any telemedicine provider in these overseas countries, like Project Screen in the UK, for example.

Your provider (the person at the other end of the video call) must be in Singapore, operating as part of an MOH-approved clinic.

Pre-departure test

The pre-departure test (PDT) requirement is:

  • A negative clinic PCR test; or
  • A professionally administered (clinic) ART test; or
  • A supervised video ART test conducted by an approved provider based in Singapore, whichever country you are physically present in.

This must be taken within two calendar days of departure (e.g. if your flight departs for Singapore at 11.55pm on Wednesday, you can take the test anytime on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday).

Singapore residents only

One part of the supervised video ART pre-departure test that hasn’t changed yet is that it remains an option only for returning Singapore residents, comprising:

  • Singapore Citizens; or
  • Singapore Permanent Residents; or
  • Singapore Long-Term Pass Holders; or
  • Singapore Work Pass Holders
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Unfortunately the option is not currently available for short-term visitors (e.g. U.S. Citizens visiting Singapore as tourists).

Cheapest overseas Tele-ART options

At the time of writing, a total of over 150 providers in Singapore have been approved by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to offer supervised pre-departure video ART swabs including service provision if you are located overseas.

Arguably the most popular provider to date, Doctor Anywhere, recently hiked its price from S$12.84 to S$21.40 today, but prices elsewhere thankfully start at S$9 plus the cost of your own Singapore-approved ART test kit (~S$5).

MOH also allows you to use a test kit approved for use in the country you are physically present in, but check with your provider first whether they will support this.

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Here are over 20 of the providers offering the cheapest rates as of 22nd April 2022 (please feel free to let us know in the comments section if you find other competitive options).

Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure
Overseas Video ART tests

Clinic / Provider Price
(inc. GST)*
Hours
(SGT)
Lion Health S$9.00 8am – 2am
MaNaDr
(via mobile app)
S$11.00 9am – 9pm
Minmed S$12.00 9am – 9pm
MyCLNQ S$12.00 24 hours
Hidoc
(via mobile app)
S$12.00 8.30am – 5pm
Kingston Medical S$14.00 9am – 6pm
S$25.00 6pm – 9am
Intemedical S$15.00 8am – 11pm
Swab N Go S$15.00 10am – 7pm
Speedoc S$16.05 9am – 9pm
Doctor Anywhere S$21.40 8am – 10pm
LifePlus Medical
(Sin Ming)
S$21.40 9am – 9pm
Faircare Medical S$23.00 9am – 10pm
S$46.00 10pm – 9am
BCH-ART S$25.00 8am – 9pm
Fullerton Health S$25.00 9am – 5pm
Healthway Medical S$25.00 Mon-Fri
9am – 9pm
or
Sat/Sun/PH
9am – 5pm
Swab Station SG /
Kingsway
S$25.00 8am – 5pm
The Tenteram Clinic S$25.00 6am – 11pm
Unihealth S$25.00 9am – 6pm
S$39.00 6pm – Midnight
S$49.00 Midnight – 9am
Bethesda Medical S$26.75 24 hours
(closed Sundays)
RMDY Clinic S$26.80 Mon-Fri
9am – 6pm
or
Sat
9am – 2pm
Raffles Medical
(via mobile app)
S$30.00 24 hours
Belief Family Clinic
(24 hours)
S$30.00 Mon-Fri
9am – 6pm
S$40.00 Sat/Sun/PH
9am – 9pm
or
Mon-Fri
6pm – 9pm
S$45.00 Daily
9pm – Midnight
S$60.00 Daily
Midnight – 9am

* Plus the cost of providing your own approved test kit.

  Full MOH List

Do note that the provider operating hours shown above refer to Singapore Time (SGT). Some providers will ask you to book your test in SGT and others in the local time zone of your approved overseas testing country.

As you can see some providers offer 24-hour testing for overseas Singapore residents returning, while some are restricted to working hours in Singapore itself, or charge more for nighttime appointments.

You can check the current local time in Singapore via this link, which also allows you to view local times in other cities – worth checking before making your overseas Tele-ART booking.

Overseas virtual supervised ART via the Raffles Connect app

How the Tele-ART works

The Tele-ART process with a provider in Singapore is simple enough, with either an in-app video function or weblink sent to you, depending on which provider you choose. You’ll need an internet connection, and we’d recommend Wi-Fi if possible (beware of exceeding your overseas data roaming limits if you’re using 4G/5G).

You should allow around 30 minutes for completion, but it should be a bit quicker in most cases.

You will have to provide your own test kit approved for use in Singapore or one approved in the country you are testing from, with some providers recommending you have a second spare kit on standby in case of invalid results, or in case you make a mistake.

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Some providers will ask for the test kit brand and/or the LOT number of the kit you’ll be using at the booking stage, so you may have to purchase in advance.

The swab supervisor will then guide you through the process, which typically involves:

  • Verifying your identity by holding your IC or passport up to the camera
  • Showing the unopened ART kit including its LOT number
  • Following the test instructions as guided
  • Leaving the ART kit in view of the camera during the 15 minutes it takes for the test to complete
  • Showing the result to the swab supervisor (you may also be asked to take and upload a photo of the kit once the result is shown)

PDTs when travelling from Singapore

Don’t forget we have an up-to-date rundown of the cheapest pre-departure test options in Singapore, both for clinic and supervised swabs, for those departing to countries also requiring this test (like the USA and Vietnam).

Pre-departure ART tests suitable for travel from Singapore start at S$21.40, while a PCR test starts at S$88, or S$80 each if there are five of you needing swabbed at the same time.



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Summary

The much more convenient supervised video ART pre-departure test option for returning Singapore residents has now been expanded to any origin country, great news for travellers especially in regional locations like Thailand and Indonesia, who will no longer need to hunt down a local clinic, provided they are Singapore residents.

This will improve flexibility for many travellers, with the ability to take your test in the comfort of your own hotel room or villa, taking just 30 minutes or less out of your day.

It also hopefully comes not too far in advance of a complete removal of pre-departure testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers heading to Singapore, which we hope to hear about an be reporting on soon.

(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)

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10 comments

  1. Finally! It made so little sense to only have certain countries on the list. This comes just in time for our Phuket trip where I canโ€™t find much info on getting an ART test to come back to Singapore!

    1. Yes we had the same issue when researching Phuket, but actually there are many options for ATK (which we call ART) tests, with a certificate for travel. Just ask at your hotel they will know where is nearby and open.

      We got one for THB 200 which is S$8 (much cheaper than Bangkok), which seemed to be the default price for all ATK places we saw nearby.

      Nonetheless despite the low cost there we would probably now use the Tele-ART to save leaving the hotel – so simple.

  2. That’s great news! We can save some cost from PCR test before pre departure from other cities back to Singapore. Now only wait for Thailand to lift up test n go package n PCR test on arrival!

    1. Rumour has it Thailand will drop on-arrival PCR to rapid antigen test (ART/ATK) from 1st May. Potentially even no Thailand Pass etc… by 1 June too, all being well.

      That should also do away with any hotel room isolation requirement too, and fingers crossed Singapore ditches its own PDT requirement this month.

  3. Hi,

    Can I check if I am flying back from Munich and proceeding to Hanoi on separate tickets, can I make use of the same test for PDT and on arrival for Vietnam on 01st May?

    I intend to come out of immigration to pass my luggage to my friend. So technically, not a transit, and itโ€™s different tickets

    1. It may be best to wait and see what the requirements for both Singapore and Vietnam are closer to the time.

      I doubt you will need a PDT to come to Singapore by 1st May, so wait and see what you’ll then need for the second part of your journey.

  4. This do sounds great for Singaporean returning home, however need to confirm this regulation is approved by the Cambodian govt end.
    Last week I was denied of boarding SQ flight from Siem Reap just because a professional administrated ART from a local clinic at another city could not be accepted as an approved PDT. Despite it was accepted from our govt any professional administrated ART medical and SQ web page do stated it, Cambodia airport still refused to let me board my flight. I had to change my flight ,booked an extra night hotel and redo my ART at their suggested location in order to fly back.
    I seriously think something need to be done to educated them to understand the protocols laid by our govt for travelling into Singapore.

    1. My friend last month came back from Bangkok after paying about 1000baht to do PCR test at clinic but at airport was denied by Scoot Airlines as the PCR test is only 24 hrs from day of test…she thought clinic was aware she’s flying back in two day’s time. Luckily she was able to do a ATK test at the airport for 500 baht in order to fly…..better to check with airline before taking flight back, esp once landed .

  5. Minmed Tele ART cost sgd12 inclusive everything? I saw their screenshot need to top up another sgd20 for consultation fee, is it true?

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