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Singapore

VTL testing regime to be simplified; travellers required to self-test only if they need to leave home: MOH

The Health Ministry also added that fully vaccinated travellers who have recently recovered from COVID-19 will be exempted from all testing and stay-home notice requirements. 

VTL testing regime to be simplified; travellers required to self-test only if they need to leave home: MOH

Travellers wearing face masks are seen at Changi Airport in Singapore on Jan 12, 2022. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: The testing regime for travellers entering Singapore via both vaccinated travel lane (VTL) air and land checkpoints will be simplified, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (Jan 21). 

From Sunday, 11.59pm, VTL travellers will only be required to do unsupervised self-administered antigen rapid tests (ART) if they need to leave their accommodation from Days 2 to 7 of their arrival.

Travellers need not submit their ART results, but must test negative before going out.

On the other hand, VTL travellers who arrive before 11.59pm on Sunday are still required to continue with the existing testing regime, the Health Ministry said in its press release.

This means an unsupervised self-administered ART on Days 2, 4, 5 and 6 with submission of results online, and supervised ART on Days 3 and 7 from their arrival. 

Travellers who test positive on ARTs via the on-arrival test for VTL-Land and unsupervised self-administered ARTs on Days 2 to 7, no longer need to undergo a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

They should instead simply recover under Protocol 2 listed on the MOH website. 

This means individuals should immediately stop going to work and cancel social activities, self-isolate for 72 hours at home, according to the MOH website. 

There is no need for a medical certificate if they have no symptoms. However if a doctor has assessed them to have a mild condition, they will be given a medical certificate to cover the expected period of rest needed for the symptoms to resolve.

MOH added that it will continue to maintain a 50 per cent limit on VTL flight and bus tickets for entry into Singapore for now.

"We will continue to review the local and global COVID-19 situation and adjust our measures accordingly," it said. 

TRAVEL FOR RECENTLY RECOVERED TRAVELLERS 

Travellers arriving from Sunday, 11.59pm, 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.

This involves either one of the following, in addition to the necessary vaccination certificates:

A positive COVID-19 PCR test or professionally-administered ART result between seven to 90 days before the date of departure for Singapore.

A discharge memo that states the traveller's name, and at least one other personal identifier such as the date of birth or passport number corresponding exactly with the information in the passport used for entry into Singapore. It should also state the date of infection or the discharge date, which must be within seven to 90 days before the date of departure for Singapore. The memo must also be issued by a relevant state authority or licensed medical professional.

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 travel overseas. 

To be eligible for exemption, these travellers should present either one of the following documents: 

A positive COVID-19 PCR test or professionally-administered ART result between 14 to 90 days before the date of departure for Singapore.

A discharge memo that states the traveller's name, and at least one other personal identifier such as the date of birth or passport number corresponding exactly with the information in the passport used for entry into Singapore. It should also state the date of infection or the discharge date, which must be within 14 to 90 days before the date of departure for Singapore. The memo must also be issued by a relevant state authority or licensed medical professional.

"With the growing number of cases worldwide, there is a rise in the number of travellers who have recently recovered from COVID-19. Such 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," said MOH.

"As fully vaccinated individuals who recently recovered from infection have a high level of immunity through their recent COVID-19 infection and vaccination, the likelihood of reinfection is low."

REGULAR REVIEW OF BORDER MEASURES 

The full set of Safe Travel Lanes for travel to Singapore and prevailing border measures under each lane for different categories will be updated on the SafeTravel website

Travellers are advised to check the website for the latest border measures for the associated country or region before entering Singapore.

They should also be prepared to be subjected to the prevailing border measures upon entry into Singapore, said MOH.

Source: CNA/gy(rw)

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