Travel VTF

Cheapest pre-departure COVID-19 PCR and ART tests for travel from Singapore

You can now get a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test in Singapore for as little as S$50, or an ART test valid for travel to some countries from S$9

With Singapore’s borders now reopened to all travellers regardless of vaccination status, travel has truly opened up on a large scale for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of the city’s travel-starved residents are busy planning or already taking overseas trips.

In an increasing number of cases, fully vaccinated travellers can thankfully enter several countries without the need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test, though unfortunately some destinations still require it.


With cheaper pre-departure ART tests now accepted for certain routings as well as the more expensive PCR method some countries still insist on, here’s our latest analysis on where you can get a pre-departure test in Singapore, including a list of the cheapest providers across the city.

Cheapest Pre-Departure
PCR Tests

Clinic PCR


Average: S$106

Express Clinic PCR


Average: S$232

Clinic PCR (Saliva)


Average: S$135

Home PCR


Average: S$155

Express Home PCR


Average: S$273

Cheapest Pre-Departure
ART Tests

Clinic ART


Average: S$33

Video Call ART


Average: S$20

Rates for PCR tests now start at S$50, while you can pick up an approved ART test from S$18, or S$9 via video call at home (where you provide your own approved test kit, costing a further S$5 or so).

For those phobic of the nasal swab process, there are also saliva-based PCR tests available from S$90, valid for travel to selected countries. Jump to the list here for details.

Your pre-departure test must typically be conducted within 24 hours to 3 days of your scheduled flight departure time, depending on the test type and your destination country, though do check the exact rules for your routing.

Some countries apply a number of days (rather than hours) principle, while some apply the requirement to your arrival time, not departure, so do be careful.

  Check country requirements at the IATA Timatic database

You’ll be subject to the following pre-departure testing requirements when travelling to some of these popular countries:

Testing before travelling to selected countries
based on fully vaccinated travellers departing from Singapore by air

Country Test type Test timing Exemptions
Hong Kong PCR
48h before departure
Japan PCR 72h before departure
Age 5 or below
Myanmar PCR 72h before arrival Age 5 or below
Qatar PCR 48h before departure
Age 3 or below
Vaccinated Qataris and residents
South Korea PCR
PCR 2 days before departure
ART 1 day before departure
Age 5 or below
Taiwan PCR 2 days before departure
Taiwan citizens

Some other countries like Japan and Taiwan also require pre-departure testing, if you are eligible to enter.

Where can you be tested in Singapore?

There are over 800 approved clinics and hospitals across Singapore where you can get a COVID-19 pre-departure PCR test and over 1,100 that should provide an acceptable pre-departure ART test certificate.

  List of approved COVID-19 test providers in Singapore

These continually updated lists will not only tell you which clinics are approved, but also their contact number, address and opening hours.

Within a 10-minute walk of our own place in East Coast, for example, there are 22 approved PCR testing facilities alone, so you shouldn’t have to go far from your home or office to take the test.



Cheapest clinic pre-departure PCR tests

We contacted over 30 major providers, covering around 300 of the 800+ clinics in Singapore offering pre-departure COVID-19 PCR tests, to check their effective rates as of 17th June 2022.

Note: Government-paid swabs are not allowed to be used for the issuance of pre-departure COVID-19 certificates.
Swab Station SG offers S$68 pre-departure PCR tests in Singapore at five locations. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure PCR tests

Clinic Locations Price (inc. GST) 1 S$50.00
Fast PDT Swab 1 S$50.00
Swab Station SG 4 S$58.00
Q&M 2 S$68.00
Kingsway Medical 2 S$68.00
MyDoctor 1 S$70.00
Advantage Medical 2 S$72.00
Lion Health 1 S$72.00
SGST 1 S$75.00
The Testing Pro 5 S$75.00
TravelSwab 1 S$75.00
ATA Medical 1 S$76.00
Minmed Clinic 16 S$77.00
AcuMed Medical 13 S$77.04
SpeediMed 1 S$77.04
Affinity Medical 1 S$80.00
Intemedical 2 S$80.00
Kingston Medical 3 S$90.00
Parkway Shenton
Shenton Medical
Shenton Wellness
26 S$90.00
Etern Medical 4 S$90.95
Healthway Medical 34 S$95.00
LifePlus Medical 2 S$96.30
Swab Services 1 S$100.00
DA Clinic 8 S$101.70
Fullerton Health 7 S$107.00
SATA CommHealth 6 S$107.00
Belief Family Clinic 1 S$108.00
Raffles Medical
(via mobile app)
36 S$115.00
Fusion Medical 1 S$117.70
True Medical 2 S$120.00
OneCare Clinic 20 S$123.05
HeartlandHealth 11 S$125.00
Pinnacle Family Clinic 8 S$128.40
My Family Clinic 16 S$135.00
Osler Health International 2 S$150.00
International Medical Clinic 3 S$176.55
Central 24-HR Clinic 9 S$200.00

For families or groups all needing a pre-departure PCR test at the same time, there are also some discounts available with some providers:

  • AcuMed offers a $145.52 in-clinic PCR test rate for two travellers, which is $72.76 per pax.

PCR test turnaround time

Clinics generally offer a 24-hour turnaround time for test results, though you may see some quote up to 48 hours. We’ve never waited more than 24 hours for a standard clinic PCR test result in Singapore.

The best promised turnaround time we’ve seen quoted for a regularly-priced PCR test is within 12 hours of your swab, via MyDoctor SG at S$70, provided you test in the morning.

For rapid tests within 6 hours, which cost significantly more, see our rundown of options here.

Travel to China (no more serology test)

Those taking a pre-departure test for travel to mainland China have had a complex series of requirements to fulfil over the last few years, at one point comprising three pre-departure tests (2 x PCR and 1 x PCR plus serology).

Thankfully requirements for those travelling from Singapore have been relaxed recently, with the following now required:

  • A PCR test on the second day before departure
  • A PCR test within 24 hours of departure
  • An ART test at Changi Airport within 2 to 6 hours of boarding (S$38)

For example, if your flight departs at 10am on 18th June, the first PCR test shall be performed any time on 16th June and the second PCR test after 10am on 17th June.

With no more requirement for a serology test, we’ve removed that pricing from the above table of options.

Do note, however, that at least one of the two PCR pre-departure tests must be conducted at clinics or hospitals belonging to the Raffles Medical Group or Parkway Medical Group.

You’re therefore looking at a best-case pricing of S$90 at Parkway, plus S$50 at PDT Swab for the two PCR tests, then S$38 for the pre-departure ART test at Changi Airport (T3 Level 1 Coach Park), for a minimum total testing cost of S$178 per person.


Given the strict 24-hour timing requirement of the second PCR test, you may also need to fork out extra for a rapid test (e.g. S$185 at Raffles Medical, see below).

Cheapest home pre-departure PCR tests

If you’re pressed for time, you can enjoy the ultimate convenience with a home PCR test.

There was previously only a single option (Homage), charging a steep rate for home testing, but now at least ten providers across the city will come to you and collect the swab sample for analysis, allowing you to get on with your day almost interruption-free, especially useful if you’re working from home.


All the providers we checked will swab up to four people at the same address if required, and the per-person cost usually starts to drop the more tests you require, for example if you’re travelling as a couple or a family.

Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure PCR tests

Provider: Cost (per pax) for:
1 pax 2 pax 3 pax 4 pax S$98 S$98 S$98 S$98
BCH-ART S$130 S$130 S$130 S$130
DA Clinic S$137 S$137 S$137 S$137
Healthway Medical S$138 S$123 S$118 S$116
Raffles Health S$158 S$138 S$131 S$128
Swab Station SG S$168 S$168 S$168 S$168
Homage S$180 S$140 S$127 S$120
(via mobile app)
S$180 S$175 S$174 S$173
Jaga-Me S$209 S$155 S$137 S$128

The cheapest options (on a per pax basis) are highlighted in green. Note that some providers apply a surcharge for home testing during evenings, weekends or on public holidays.

Cheapest express pre-departure PCR tests

If you are travelling at very short notice (e.g. the same day) to a country requiring a pre-departure PCR test, some providers are able to offer quick turnarounds with results available in as little as 4-6 hours.

Be warned – it’s not cheap – but if you’re in this situation you are probably flying out for urgent reasons and won’t have a lot of choice in the matter.

Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure PCR tests
Express turnaround

Clinic Locations Price (inc. GST)
Fast PDT Swab 1 S$88.00
(within 12 hours)
Fast PDT Swab 1 S$158.00
(within 6 hours)
Raffles Medical
(via mobile app)
36 S$185.00
(within 6 hours)
The Testing Pro 5 S$198.00
(5-7 hours)
MyDoctor 1 S$200.00
(4-7 hours)
AcuMed Medical 2 S$211.86
(8 hours)
SpeediMed 1 S$211.86
(same day)
Fast PDT Swab 1 S$228.00
(within 4 hours)
Parkway Shenton
Shenton Medical
Shenton Wellness
26 S$238.00
(<6 hours)
Affinity Medical 1 S$250.00
(6-8 hours)
HealthWay Medical 2 S$250.00
(6 hours)
Minmed Clinic 16 S$265.00
(6 hours)
Fullerton Health 8 S$278.20
(6 hours)
Belief Family Clinic 1 S$288.00
(6-8 hours)
Kingsway Medical 2 S$288.00
(6-8 hours)
Swab Station SG 5 S$288.00
(8 hours)
Fusion Medical 1 S$299.60
(6-8 hours)
Intemedical 2 S$321.00
(6-8 hours)
International Medical Clinic 3 S$321.00
(4-6 hours)
Osler Health International 2 S$350.00
(8 hours)

There are also some home testing express turnaround PCR test options, as outlined below (cheapest options per pax highlighted in green).

Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure PCR tests
Express turnaround

Provider Cost (per pax) for:
1 pax 2 pax 3 pax 4 pax
(4-8 hours)
S$235 S$230 S$225 S$220
Raffles Health
(6-12 hours)
S$238 S$238 S$238 S$238
via mobile app
(8-12 hours)
S$287 S$282 S$281 S$280
Swab N Go
(6-8 hours)
S$290 S$265 S$257 S$253
(3-6 hours)

S$316 S$273 S$259 S$251

PCR Saliva tests

If you particularly dislike the regular nasopharyngeal swab (taken through your nose to the back of your throat), which let’s face it isn’t the most pleasant experience, you’ll be pleased to know that Singapore has now approved saliva PCR testing.

In this case the test is far less invasive, since you simply gargle and spit into a tube.


If this is your preference, you’ll need to make sure your destination country accepts saliva-based swabs for pre-departure tests. At the time of writing, the following countries accept saliva pre-departure tests:

  • Japan
  • Taiwan

Prices start at S$90 including GST. Turnaround time is 24 hours, though some clinics offer a faster turnaround for a higher cost, in addition to some home-based testing options.

Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure PCR tests

Clinic Locations Price (inc. GST)
Saliva PCR
Dedicare Medical 1 S$88.00
Parkway Shenton
Shenton Medical
Shenton Wellness
3 S$90.00
Chang Clinic 1 S$105.00
Paddington Medical 1 S$120.00
Thomson Medical 1 S$130.00
Fast PDT Swab 1 S$138.00
WhiteCoat 1 S$138.00
Healthsprings 3 S$140.00
Parkway East Hospital 1 S$150.00
Gainhealth Clinic
(at home)
n/a S$155.15
1 S$155.15
Osler Health International 2 S$168.00
International Medical Clinic 3 S$176.55

Travellers taking the saliva-based pre-departure test are advised to follow these instructions one hour before sample collection:

  • Do not eat or drink (sipping water is allowed)
  • Do not brush your teeth or use mouthwash
  • Do not smoke or chew gum

Saliva antigen rapid tests (ART) are not yet approved for use in Singapore, though hopefully that will change soon and these will of course be cheaper than the PCR version, for countries that accept both saliva-based and ART pre-departure test results (like Australia and the USA).

Cheapest pre-departure ART tests

If you’re travelling to a country that allows you to complete a pre-departure ART test, like the USA, the good news is that this is a lot cheaper than the PCR version.


Results are available within 30 minutes, so there are also no concerns when making short-term travel plans.

Note that self-administered ART tests are not valid for travel purposes. You must do these at an accredited clinic and obtain a certificate to use them as evidence of your COVID-19 status for entering a country. Similarly, the S$15 ART tests at QTCs/CTCs cannot be used for travel.

Lion Health provides the cheapest option at S$18 including GST, followed by Northeast Medical clinics at S$21.40 including GST (no consultation fee for negative result).

We checked with them and they will also provide a results certificate with your personal details suitable for travel, however it cannot be notarised (though this isn’t really necessary for ART test results when travelling to most countries).

Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure ART tests

Clinic Locations Price (inc. GST)
Lion Health 1 S$18.00
Advantage Medical 2 S$18.00
Kingsway Medical 2 S$20.00
Swab Station SG 4 S$20.00
The Testing Pro 5 S$20.00
Northeast Medical 8 S$21.40
Affinity Medical 1 S$25.00
Belief Family Clinic 1 S$25.00
Kingston Medical 4 S$25.00
AcuMed Medical 9 S$26.75
SpeediMed 1 S$26.75
Raffles Medical
(via mobile app)
36 S$27.00
SATA CommHealth 6 S$28.00
SGST 1 S$28.00
Healthway Medical 34 S$30.00
HeartlandHealth 11 S$30.00
DA Clinic 8 S$32.10
Etern Medical 4 S$32.10
Parkway Shenton
Shenton Medical
Shenton Wellness
26 S$33.00
Minmed Clinic 16 S$35.00
True Medical 2 S$35.00
Fullerton Health 8 S$37.45
Intemedical 1 S$37.45
OneCare Clinic 20 S$37.45
My Family Clinic 16 S$38.00
Pinnacle Family Clinic 8 S$48.15
Osler Health International 2 S$50.00
International Medical Clinic 3 S$53.50
Central 24-HR Clinic 9 S$60.00

You certainly shouldn’t be spending more than S$40 for an ART test in Singapore, and there are many clinics offering the service at S$30 or less, including all Raffles Medical locations.

Do note that many clinics in Singapore offering ART tests are more geared up for producing certificates for pre-event testing, rather than for international travel, but provided they can produce a results certificate you shouldn’t have any issues.


Many clinics will also tell you that an ART is not sufficient for pre-departure testing, and that you must have a PCR test, but as we know that’s not the case for many countries, like Australia and the USA. Don’t be talked into paying for an expensive test that you don’t need.

Video ART tests

Following a successful pilot scheme, Singapore now recognises video ART testing (also called “Tele-ART”), where you use your own approved test kit and complete the test under live observation from a clinic representative.

You will then receive a results certificate, typically within around 4 hours, suitable for use as a pre-departure test.

Pricing starts at S$9, but you’ll have to also factor in the cost of your own approved ART kit, which at the time of writing cost around S$5 each.

Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure
Video ART tests

Clinic Price (inc. GST)*
Lion Health S$9.00
MaNaDr S$11.00
Minmed S$12.00
MyCLNQ S$12.00
Kingston Medical S$12.90
BCH-ART S$15.00
Intemedical S$15.00
Swab N Go S$15.00
Belief Family Clinic S$18.00
Swab Station SG S$20.00
DA Clinic S$21.40
Raffles Medical
(via mobile app)
Fullerton Health S$25.00
Speedoc S$26.75
International Medical Clinic  S$37.45
Pinnacle Family Clinic S$48.15

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

This option allows you to take your PDT from the comfort of your own home or office, with the video appointment typically lasting no more than 30 minutes.

Some of these providers offer overnight or 24-hour service, either with or without an additional fee.

Most countries allowing entry with a negative ART test like New Zealand and the USA recognise Tele-ART results, though do note that South Korea explicitly does not permit this method.

Notarised results

Since 10th March 2021, all clinics in Singapore offering pre-departure PCR tests must now offer digital results certificates, to reduce fraud and speed up the departure process.

Most clinics provide a notarised result automatically, but in some cases you may be required to digitally authenticate and endorse the digital test certificate via the government’s Notarise website before travel.

ART test results can also be notarised in some cases, though this is not necessary for travel to any country accepting pre-departure ART tests.

You’ll receive a QR code by email within 15 minutes of uploading your certificate. The QR code will then be used by the authorities to verify the authenticity of your pre-departure test when you travel.

The easiest way to present the QR code will be via your mobile device, though you can also print and carry a hardcopy version if you prefer.

A notarised pre-departure test certificate

If you have presented your NRIC at the clinic when having your pre-departure test, the Notarise QR code will be automatically uploaded onto your SingPass app.

Pro Tip: We’d still recommend having a printed copy of your pre-departure COVID-19 test results with you on your journey, since acceptable formats will differ in some countries.

The Notarise system can also be used to provide certified vaccination certificates for travel.

What you’ll need to bring

You’ll need your identity card or passport when attending your COVID-19 pre-departure test appointment, plus a valid payment method (remember some clinics accept cash / NETS / PayNow only).


Some clinics also require your flight details if you are having a pre-departure test, even to make an appointment, as they want to ensure the test timing will fall within the applicable pre-departure validity window for your destination country.

They may also ask you to bring your flight details along to the appointment itself.

Be careful with transit itineraries

If you are not making a simple A-B journey involving only one flight, do be sure to check whether your transit itinerary gives rise to any additional test requirements.

Some countries require pre-departure tests for transit passengers, which you’ll have to comply with in addition to any requirements for your final destination country, including stricter test type and timing rules in some cases.

What about overseas tests?

If you’re looking at where to obtain a pre-departure COVID-19 test prior to travel from overseas to another country requiring PDTs (e.g. from the UK to the USA), Singapore Airlines is maintaining a helpful list of available pre-departure test facilities in its primary overseas markets.

(Image: Singapore Airlines)

If you can’t find details you need for your departure country, other airlines are maintaining similar lists on their respective websites. For example, Emirates has this extensive list of recommended pre-departure test locations.




With overseas travel back, there is unfortunately still a requirement for pre-departure COVID-19 PCR or ART tests before we depart Singapore when heading to some countries, including South Korea and the USA. Generally, when it’s needed, you’ll need to lock in a test 24 hours to 3 days before departure.

It’s definitely worth shopping around, since we found that the most expensive PCR tests (S$200) now come in four times as costly compared to the cheapest (S$50).

Those who hate the nasal swab method can now opt for a saliva-based PCR test for travel to selected countries from S$90.

For ART tests, there’s a good range of options around the S$25-30 mark, with remote video testing now approved and available from S$9 plus your own kit.

Where PCR testing is required, a family of four is looking at up to S$520 in savings by locking in one of the better-value clinics prior to their trip compared to the more expensive ones, making even an couple of Grab rides across town to a more distant testing location almost certainly worthwhile!

There are also an increasing number of competitively priced home testing PCR options, from S$98, while express PCR test costs for last-minute travel have also fallen significantly and now start at S$185.

Even some transit airports are requiring a negative pre-departure test, regardless of your origin / destination requirements, so be careful not to unduly add this cost to your trip if it’s not otherwise necessary.

One thing we can’t complain about in Singapore is the number of options, with over 800 facilities island-wide offering these services, many supporting walk-in, 24-hour opening, home testing and even urgent 6-hour results turnaround.

(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)



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