SINGAPORE - All travellers from vaccinated travel lane (VTL) and low-risk areas will soon be able to take an unsupervised antigen rapid test (ART) within 24 hours of their arrival into Singapore.
The new rule takes effect next Tuesday (March 15) and will replace the previous requirement for a supervised self-swab ART, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Friday.
The ministry noted that the number of imported infection cases has stayed low and makes up only about 1 per cent of total daily infections.
"(This is) because many countries have already passed the peak of their Omicron infection waves," MOH said.
The new requirement will apply to travellers coming from areas with low-infection rates, such as China, Macau and Taiwan.
It will also apply to vaccinated travellers coming in from places Singapore has VTLs with, such as Australia, South Korea and the United States.
Travellers are required to report their unsupervised self-swab ART test result at this website before proceeding with their activities here.
They will still have to take a pre-departure ART or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within two days before their departure to Singapore.
The new requirement is an important step to prepare for a new Vaccinated Travel concept in the coming weeks, MOH said.
Elaborating on this concept at the press conference of the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 on Friday, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said Singapore would eventually like to introduce a concept of a vaccinated traveller, rather than have different VTLs for different countries.
The new concept would simplify and free up international travel, allowing people to travel as long as they are vaccinated, regardless of where they come from, and if the appropriate tests are done.
“Except for a very small group of countries which we may have variants of concern - then we will have to restrict travel from that particular group,” he said.
Meanwhile, travellers arriving from places that are not on the VTL list, or those from areas under the restricted countries category, will still have to serve a seven-day stay-home notice.
Those from restricted countries will also have to take an on-arrival PCR test. There are currently no countries under this category.
Travellers are strongly advised to visit the SafeTravel website to check the latest border measures for the country or region before entering Singapore, and be prepared to adhere to the prevailing border measures upon entry into Singapore.