SINGAPORE - From Monday (June 21), those who want to visit patients warded at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for longer than 20 minutes will be required to take a Covid-19 antigen rapid test (ART).

This includes registered caregivers of warded patients and a negative test result is required before visitors are allowed entry into the wards, SGH said in a Facebook post on Sunday.

Results from self-testing kits will not be accepted, but visitors may show the results of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken in the past 24 hours.

Testing is free and test results will be valid for only the day of the visit.

The tests will be conducted at the ART centre located in SGH's Bowyer Block and test results will be ready in 20 minutes, said the hospital.

Upon clearing the test, the visitor will be given a sticker and can then proceed to the ward to visit the patient.

SGH said the testing is in keeping with the nationwide easing of Covid-19 restrictions from Monday.

"With the easing of restrictions, it is important to engage in proactive screening in order to ensure that our patients and staff members remain safe," said the hospital.

For existing inpatients, their designated caregivers will receive an SMS with information about undergoing the ART.

Newly admitted patients and their caregivers will be provided information upon admission.

The Straits Times has contacted other hospitals about whether they will also be conducting rapid testing for visitors.