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 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.

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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

S$50

Average: S$107

Express Clinic PCR

S$185

Average: S$232

Clinic PCR (Saliva)

S$90

Average: S$140

Home PCR

S$98

Average: S$159

Express Home PCR

S$238

Average: S$278

Cheapest Pre-Departure
ART Tests

Clinic ART

S$18

Average: S$34

Video Call ART

S$9

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
or
ART
PCR 2 days before departure
or
ART 1 day before departure
Age 5 or below
Taiwan PCR 2 days before departure
Taiwan citizens
&
residents

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$78 pre-departure PCR tests in Singapore at six locations, including this one in Bedok. (Photo: MainlyMiles)

Cost of COVID-19 pre-departure PCR tests
(Clinic)

Clinic Locations Price (inc. GST)
pdtswab.sg 1 S$50.00
Q&M 2 S$60.00
Fast PDT Swab 1 S$70.00
Lion Health