Singapore Health Ministry: From Monday, all inbound VTL travellers to take daily Covid-19 tests for seven days

Travellers have to self-administer Covid tests using antigen rapid test kits and submit the results online, except on the third and seventh day, when the tests will have to be done under supervision at a test centre. — TODAY pic
Travellers have to self-administer Covid tests using antigen rapid test kits and submit the results online, except on the third and seventh day, when the tests will have to be done under supervision at a test centre. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Dec 4 — From Monday (December 6), all travellers entering Singapore via the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) arrangement will have to undergo Covid-19 tests daily for seven days, as the Government tighten measures against the emerging Omicron coronavirus strain causing Covid-19.

This is on top of pre-departure and on-arrival tests that these travellers already have to undergo, the Ministry of Health said in a press release yesterday.

Travellers have to self-administer these tests using antigen rapid test kits and submit the results online, except on the third and seventh day, when the tests will have to be done under supervision at a test centre. 

During this seven-day period, other than on days when they go out for their supervised tests, these travellers must test negative before going out for activities on that day. 

The new protocols will kick in from 11.59pm next Monday, and it will also apply to travellers arriving from Malaysia via the travel lane for the Causeway.

Singapore is also extending travel restrictions to more countries that have seen a spike in Omicron cases. 

  • From 11.59pm on December 4, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to Ghana, Malawi and Nigeria within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Singapore, or transfer or transit through the country
  • Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway and Poland will be placed in Category III from 11.59pm on December 6, which means travellers from these countries will have to be quarantined for 10 days instead of seven

Update on omicron variant

Giving an update on the Omicron variant, MOH said that the virus strain has been detected in at least 28 other countries, mainly from people with recent travel history to southern Africa. 

“There is currently no evidence to suggest that symptoms associated with the Omicron variant are different or more severe than those of other variants, or that current vaccines and therapeutics would be ineffective against Omicron. More data and further studies are needed to verify this,” MOH said.

The ministry said that antigen rapid tests remain effective as a method of detecting Covid-19, including Omicron cases. 

“Preliminary validation by the manufacturers (of these test kits) show that antigen rapid tests remain effective in detecting Covid-19 cases of the Omicron variant, and laboratories are doing further biochemical tests to confirm these,” MOH added. — TODAY

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