Public can book Covid-19 test at 20 quick test centres from Oct 1

Members of the public will be able to make appointments for self-paid tests at the quick test centres, which were previously set up for workers in higher-risk settings. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - To supplement regular self-testing, members of the public can now make an appointment for a paid test at the 20 quick test centres (QTCs) for a fast and easy test (FET) from Oct 1.

Along with self-test kits, access to these centres will see testing for Covid-19 becoming a way of life in Singapore, said the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 on Friday (Sept 3).

"We want to encourage everyone to consider testing regularly, especially, for example, if you're going to participate in a high-risk activity or attend a large-scale event and you want to ensure you are free of the virus, test yourself on a regular basis," said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, a co-chairman of the task force.

QTCs were previously set up for workers in higher-risk settings who have to carry out mandatory rostered routine testing, such as dine-in eateries, hairdressers, spas and gyms.

These are settings with unmasked patrons, or where there is prolonged contact between individuals.

Mr Wong said that employers can also play a role in conducting tests for employees beyond routine testing.

"We would encourage employers to see how they can make regular testing at workplaces a new norm. So the tripartite partners will be discussing further guidelines to promote more pervasive use of (antigen rapid test kits) at workplaces," he said.

The Government is also studying the possibility of setting up more testing sites across the island, so that it will be easier for people to get themselves tested regularly.

"Regular testing should not be confined to persons working in higher-risk settings," said Mr Wong.

"In fact, we want to strongly encourage everyone, whether you are vaccinated or not, to self-test regularly with antigen rapid test (ART) kits as a matter of social responsibility."

He noted that the Government has begun distributing ART kits to households, where each will receive six self-test kits in the mail.

Test kits are also widely available at retailers and on e-commerce platforms.

"We are also actively reviewing new kits for sale, and will continue to make such self-test kits more readily accessible," added Mr Wong.

The task force on Friday also noted Singapore's high vaccination rate, where more than 80 per cent of the population have received two shots.

"We've already reached high vaccination levels… we should now aspire to become a nation of testing, where testing becomes a way of life," said Mr Wong.

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