Forum: Cost of Covid-19 tests for vaccinated travel lanes excessive, especially for a family

I refer to the article, "6 airlines to operate flights between KL and S'pore" (Nov 19).

While many gladly welcome the bilateral Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme with our closest neighbour Malaysia, I hope the authorities can consider reviewing the scheme's testing requirements.

A minimum of three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and one antigen rapid test (ART) are required for a round trip.

These tests will cost at least $400 per person for a single round trip.

It is conceivable that there will be repeat trips as people move towards normality.

It is also likely that families will try to reconnect, and a simple family unit of two parents and a child would easily incur more than $1,200 in test fees alone.

I urge the authorities to consider and negotiate for more affordable testing to help the sizeable number of people likely to travel via this long-awaited VTL with Malaysia.

As all VTL travellers must already be fully vaccinated, would an ART suffice in lieu of a PCR test?

After all, there is already the requirement for short-term travellers to Malaysia to buy travel insurance with a minimum coverage of RM100,000 for Covid-19-related treatment or hospitalisation costs, and home recovery is already in place in Singapore.

Janice Tan Sen Koon

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