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Complete Guide To COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART) Self-Test Kits

Everything you need to know about COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (ART) kits.


Even as 84% of the population is fully vaccinated (as of 25th Oct), we still have to play our part to curb the transmission of the virus and protect ourselves and the community. Regular testing is critical in order to detect cases early and nip it before it spreads. This is why MOH is distributing a second round of Antigen Rapid Test (ART) self-test kits from 22 Oct to 7 Dec 21, equipping each household with additional 10 kits each.

When Are The Times We Need To Use An ART Self-Test Kit

With so many regulations in place, here’s a guide on when one is required to be either self-tested or be tested at Quick Test Centre (QTC):

#1 If you are feeling well but are still worried that you may have COVID-19, you can take an ART self-test.

#2 If you are feeling unwell. You should not take ART but should see a doctor or visit a Swab And Send Home (SASH) clinic via private transport.

#3 If you are living with somebody who has been tested positive for COVID-19 at one of MOH-approved testers. They will be put under the Home Recovery Programme by default and register you and other household mates as close contacts. Once you receive a Health Risk Warning (HRW) notification, under the law, you must self-isolate immediately, take an ART self-test within 24hrs, submit your result and complete the 7-day monitoring period. If your ART result is negative, you can leave your house but will need to take another ART before leaving the house and must complete the 7-day monitoring.

For this group of people who received the notification, you are eligible to collect 6 ART self-test kits from vending machines at selected venues. Please bring along your NRIC and scan it at the vending machine for collection.

#4 A household member has been tested positive on ART. You should minimise contact with that member and take an ART self-test. If your ART result is negative, you can leave your house but will need to take another ART before leaving the house and complete the 7-day monitoring.

#5 If you’ve been to an affected area but did not receive a HRW notification, you should monitor your health or take an ART if you’re worried.

#6 You received a HRW notification. You must take an ART self-test ASAP and follow the instructions provided to you.

#7 If you are visiting someone in critical condition at the hospital. To be an approved visitor, you cannot take an ART self-test. The ART or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test must be administered or supervised by MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers.

#8 If you are returning to the workplace, you are encouraged to self-test weekly with an ART (either self-test or at an approved centre if you are fully vaccinated). Unvaccinated employees should not return unless they have a negative ART administered via a Pre-Event Testing (PET).

#9 If you work in retail malls, markets and hawker centres and disinfection companies, you will have to undergo ART every 7 days regardless of vaccination status. The self-swabbing must take place under supervision of a trained staff either on-site or virtually.

#10 Students: Children under 12 years of age (but above 2 years of age) are required to take an ART every two weeks during school term. They can stop once the holiday starts.

At the end of the day, there are only a few exemptions that count as acceptable if you cannot perform a swab test for yourself or others and you should not perform an ART test if:

  • They are under 2 years of age
  • Had a nosebleed within the last 24hrs
  • Had a nasal surgery in the last 4 weeks
  • Had facial surgery in the last 8 weeks.
  • If you are already feeling unwell with COVID-19 symptoms. Go see a doctor instead!

Read Also: 5 Reasons Getting A COVID-19 Vaccination Is Similar To Buying An Insurance Policy

When Are the Times Results From Self-Test Kits Are Not Recognised- Events That Require PET

Under stricter measures rolled out during the Stabilisation Phase, unvaccinated people are unable to dine in at hawker centres and coffee shops. They will also be unable to enter most shopping malls or buildings and establishments (e.g., IKEA, etc) unless they take a pre-event testing (PET) at a MOH-approved test provider. These would be instances where ART self-test kits are not recognised as these tests need to be performed under supervision by parties recognised by MOH.

If you are attending an event such as a wake, wedding, worship service, live performance, MICE, cinema, or taking a cruise, a PET is required. Negative results from ART self-test kits or ART tests supervised by non-MOH-approved test providers (e.g. Employer Supervised Self Swab) are not recognised for PET.

However, for those who are fully vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 and can provide a valid PET exemption notice for the duration of the event or have a valid negative PET result for the duration of the event, will not be required to take a PET.

The occasions when a fully vaccinated person must take a PCR test or PET include when they are taking a flight out of Singapore, or going on a Cruise.

Read Also: COVID-19 Vaccinations: Which Vaccines Are Allowed And How Much Do They Cost

Need More ART Self-Test Kits?

Finished using your stash of kits that MOH provided? You can purchase ART self-test kits at various retail shops and e-commerce platforms.

According to Health Sciences Authority (HSA), the list of authorised self-test kits are as follows:

 Source: Health Sciences Authority

One self-test kit costs around $12.90 from retailers such as NTUC, Watsons and Guardian while a pack of 2 kits would cost around $20.90 to $21.50.

If you are unable to purchase any of the self-test kits at a retailer, you can book an appointment at a Quick Test Centres (QTCs). It’s at a flat fee of $15 (inc. GST) and only cashless payments are accepted.

Read Also: Will The COVID-19 Pandemic Spell The End Of Era For The Wet Market?

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