With Singapore’s borders now reopened to fully vaccinated travellers under the VTF scheme, 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, including South Korea and the USA.
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.
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.
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|
||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
|PCR 2 days before departure
ART 1 day before departure
|Age 5 or below|
|Taiwan||PCR||2 days before departure
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.
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.
Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure PCR tests
|Clinic||Locations||Price (inc. GST)|
|Fast PDT Swab||1||S$70.00|
|Swab Station SG||6||S$78.00|
|Swab N Go||1||S$95.00|
|The Testing Pro||5||S$96.00|
|Belief Family Clinic||1||S$108.00|
(via mobile app)