Singapore to enhance testing protocols for air travellers from Friday (Dec 3), land VTL not affected


SINGAPORE, Dec 1 (Bernama): Singapore will enhance its testing protocols for travellers arriving in the republic from Dec 3, 2021, including via the air Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) as its steps up effort to detect and contain the Omicron variant.

All travellers on the air VTL who arrived after the cut-off date and time, will have to undergo additional supervised self-administered Antigen Rapid Tests (ART) at a Quick Test Centre on Days 3 and 7 of their arrival.

According to the republic’s Multi-ministry Taskforce (MTF) on COVID-19, these enhanced measures will apply for four weeks in the first instance and will be reviewed and extended if necessary.

Speaking at a virtual press conference here today, the co-chair of the Taskforce, Gan Kim Yong said the land VTL with Malaysia, however, will not be subjected to the measures.

Gan who is also the republic’s Minister for Trade and Industry said the risk of importation via the land VTL arrangement is mitigated by the travel restrictions Malaysia has imposed on countries and regions affected by Omicron.

"The land link between Singapore and Malaysia is quite different from the air link. Currently, it is restricted only to citizens and long-term pass holders, which means no foreigners will be allowed to make use of the land link,” he said.

"So there are various measures in place to mitigate the risk and therefore, the Days 3 and 7 additional ART test currently may not be applied to the VTL land link between Singapore and Malaysia,” he said.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation and we do a continuous risk assessment and if necessary additional measures may be introduced. Currently, there is no plan to introduce additional ART for arrivals from Malaysia via land.

The travellers arriving in Singapore from Malaysia via the land VTL will only be required to undertake the test upon arrival, said the Ministry of Trade And Industry on Sunday.

The ministry said this is in view of recent reports of a potentially more contagious variant of the COVID-19 virus, the B.1.1.529, now known as Omicron.

Under the enhanced measures, among others, all air travellers entering or transiting through Singapore, including travellers from Category I countries or regions, must undergo a Pre-Departure Test within two days of their departure for Singapore.

Those entering Singapore, including travellers from Category II (non-VTL), III and IV countries, must undergo a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test on arrival.

With effect from Aug 28, 2021, Singapore has classified countries or regions into four categories, each with differentiated border measures.

Malaysia and Singapore had just officially launched the air, and land VTLs on Monday (Nov 29). - Bernama

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Covid-19 , Singapore , Malaysia , Land VTL , Omicron

   

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