VTL tickets into Singapore to still be capped at half, but testing regime to ease

·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Passengers arriving at Changi Airport in Singapore.
Passengers arriving at Changi Airport in Singapore. (PHOTO: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Singapore will continue to maintain a 50-per-cent limit on vaccinated travel lane (VTL) flight and bus tickets for entry into the city-state amid the expected spike on COVID-19 Omicron cases.

However, it will simplify the VTL enhanced seven-day testing regime, as imported cases form a shrinking proportion of overall cases in Singapore.

The multi-ministry taskforce for COVID-19 (MTF) said in a media release on Friday (21 January) that for VTL travellers entering Singapore after 11.59pm on Sunday, they will only be required to do unsupervised, self-administered antigen rapid tests (ARTs) from Day 2 to 7 of their arrivals if they need to leave their place of residence or accommodation.

Currently, VTL travellers are required to do supervised ARTs on Days 3 and 7, in addition to unsupervised ARTs on days 2, 4, 5 and 6.

Travellers who test positive on ARTs no longer need to undergo a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, but should instead simply recover under Protocol 2. This means that they should stop going to work, cancel their social activities, and self-isolate for 72 hours at home.

Changes in testing for travellers recently recovered from COVID

MTF said in its media release that there is a growing number of travellers who have recently recovered from COVID-19.

These travellers can continue to shed non-infectious viral fragments even after they have recovered, and therefore test positive for COVID-19 despite posing no infection risk. The likelihood of reinfection is also low, as they have a high level of immunity.

Hence, travellers arriving after 11.59pm on Sunday who are fully vaccinated and recently recovered (within 90 days of their last infection) will be exempted from all testing and Stay-Home Notice requirements, if they are able to provide appropriate documentary proof such as a discharge memo.

Non-fully vaccinated recently-recovered travellers will be exempted from pre-departure testing requirements, but will still be subjected to all other prevailing border measures.

This will facilitate the safe return of recently-recovered residents who had travelled overseas, said the MTF.

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