Over 90 Covid-19 quick test centres set up, including at dental clinics and shopping malls like Great World, Tampines Mall

MOH reminded all VTL travellers they must take their ARTs and submit the results in a timely manner
PHOTO: The Straits Times/Lim Yaohui 

SINGAPORE - To make Covid-19 testing more convenient, travellers and frontline workers can now take supervised self-administered antigen rapid tests (ARTs) at more than 90 locations, including at dental clinics and Marina Bay Sands.

Acumen Diagnostics, a Q&M subsidiary, told The Straits Times that private rooms have been set aside in 10 clinics islandwide for swabbing purposes.

These testing centres are located near Housing Board estates and at popular malls such as Great World.

Dr Ong Siew Hwa, chief executive of Acumen Diagnostics, said: "Our clinics have a maximum of four slots per hour for swabbing, so that there is ample time for staff to disinfect the premises."

Healthcare provider Doctor Anywhere has made swabbing services available at eight of its clinics, including Intemedical 24 Hour clinic which is open round the clock.

CapitaLand is also working with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) to roll out quick test centres at six malls so far.

HPB told ST: "Venues must have sufficient space and must allow for the necessary safe distancing and infection control measures to be implemented. At the same time, we consider the geographical spread and accessibility of the location."

Those visiting a quick test centre will have to make an appointment online and bring along photo identification to verify their identity. They will have to pay $15 for each test.

The addition of these new locations follows the Ministry of Health's (MOH) announcement on Dec 22 that stricter enforcement for travellers entering Singapore via vaccinated travel lanes (VTLs) will apply.

MOH reminded all VTL travellers they must take their ARTs and submit the results in a timely manner. Those who do not do so will be issued a stay-home notice and will also face enforcement action under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Quick test centres have also expanded outside the heartland, with more locations launched at tourist destinations.

A new Covid-19 quick test centre outside Tampines Mall on Dec 18, 2021.
PHOTO: The Straits Times/Lim Yaohui 

A Marina Bay Sands spokesman told ST that its centre managed by Doctor Anywhere provides testing services to meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) delegates, overseas hotel guests who have entered Singapore via the VTL and members of the public.

On Dec 21, a centre was set up at the Copthorne King's Hotel On Havelock. Another is slated to open at M Hotel Singapore in Anson Road in the first week of January.

Dr Michael Chiam, a senior tourism lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said: "For VTL travellers, it is best that they can do the tests in their own hotels.

"But if cost is a major consideration, perhaps a few hotels could share one testing centre within walking distance so that the VTL travellers will not be too inconvenienced."

A Covid-19 quick test centre outside Tampines Mall. The new centres are located near Housing Board estates and at popular malls. PHOTO: The Straits Times/Lim Yaohui 

Even though VTL travellers are sent a link to book their Covid-19 tests, it may be helpful for hotels and airlines to remind international visitors about Singapore's testing requirements, said Dr Chiam.

"This can be done through the distribution of brochures in major languages with the relevant website links at strategic points like check-in counters, hotel rooms and during their flights."

The full list of quick test centres can be found in this website.

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.