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HHWT Advisory: Can I Travel to Brunei Darussalam?

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Sastri  •  Apr 26, 2021

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Brunei Darussalam. The country might be tiny, but it's full of remnant of a naval empire that once controlled all Borneo. The country is full of green rainforest, with hidden gems and waterfalls dotted inside. Its capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, has numerous spectacular mosques and palaces as well as the humble multicultural society. With very limited COVID-19 cases, Brunei Darussalam has started to open their border for international travellers. Here's everything you need to know about COVID-19 situation and the latest travel policy in Brunei Darussalam.
COVID-19 situation
This small nation seems to have dealt the COVID-19 pandemic effectively. Since its first reported case on 9 March 2020, the sultanate had 141 confirmed cases with only three deaths. Currently, Brunei has no active cases and has not reported any new cases in two months. First and foremost, Brunei is very small. Its territory covers less than 6,000 square kilometres with population of 490,000. The demography make it easier to track the spread of the virus. When cases spiked in May 2020, citizens and residents were banned from leaving Brunei and foreigners were banned from entering the country. This was in addition to travel restrictions for China, Brunei's largest trading partner. Starting from 6 March 2021, theLevel 5 New Normal restriction is implemented for the following activities:
  1. Mosques, surau and musalla (balai ibadat)
  2. Other places of worship besides mosques and surau
  3. Schools
  4. Technical, vocational and higher education
  5. Tuition schools and music schools
  6. Driving school
  7. Special needs classes
  8. Child care centres
  9. Activity centres for the elderly
  10. Museums, Galleries and Libraries
  11. Gym and fitness center
  12. Sports facilities (indoor & outdoor)
  13. Golf course
  14. Swimming pool
  15. Restaurants, Cafes and Food Courts
  16. Cinemas
  17. Arcade and Playground
  18. Internet Café
  19. Stalls and Markets
In the level 5 New Normal, the public are required to:
  • Scan QR code at all premises. Premises managers are required to provide appropriate and sufficient QR codes at their respective premises. To make it easier for visitors who do not have the facility to scan the QR code, the premise manager can provide a register book to record the personal details of visitors.
  • Practice personal hygiene at all times such as washing your hands regularly or using hand sanitizer and using a face mask when in a crowded area.
  • It is not recommended to touch such as shaking hands.
  • If feeling unwell, should isolate themselves, do not enter public places, do not attend public functions and immediately see adoctor for treatment.
  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine when the vaccination program starts.
Vaccination progress
On 2 April 2021, Brunei Darussalam has received the first series of COVID-19 vaccine doses. There are 24,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine shipped from Amsterdam via Singapore. Brunei Darussalam's COVID-19 Vaccination Programme will be implemented in three phases according to different population groups:
  1. Phase one: includes frontliners, senior citizens aged 60 and above, as well as students or individuals who will be studying abroad
  2. Phase two: includes staff working at Daycare Centres, teachers, and adults with high risk/ comorbidities
  3. Phase three: Other individuals who are 18 years and above.
Credit: Mufid Majnun/ Unsplash
Can I travel to Brunei Darussalam now?
Starting from 15 September 2020, Entry Travel Pass were issued for inbound travellers of foreign nationalities arriving in Brunei Darussalam. The Entry Travel Pass may be issued for the following individuals:
  • Essential business travel (including official travel)
  • Students
  • Individual primarily for purpose of medical treatment
  • Compassionate and other special circumstances, such as parents, spouse, or other immediate family members of Brunei citizens or residents.
Important note for eligibility of Entry Travel Pass:
  • Travellers must have remained within the country of departure for the last 14 days prior to departure for Brunei
  • Transit while en-route to Bruneiis only permitted in a country with an equivalent or lower risk category as per Ministry of Health risk assessment. The traveller may not leave the airport while in transit.
Application must be submitted at least 8 working days before intended date of travel by the sponsoring (receiving) agency or sponsoring family member in Brunei Darussalam on behalf of the traveller via Entry Travel Pass portal. Travellers are required to undertake pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR testing within 72 hours prior to arrival.
Do I need a quarantine?
Upon arrival, travellers will be required to undergo self-isolation at hotel accommodation for a period of between 2 to 14 days depending on the self-isolation notice that given upon arrival (determined by the Ministry of Health's risk assessment). Accommodation for the duration of post-arrival self-isolation must be selected from the drop down menu on the Entry Travel Pass application page. Travellers has the responsibility to book directly with hotels and secure the accommodation before arrival. Travellers advised to make a minimum booking duration of 6 days stay at the hotel.
Tourist attractions in Brunei Darussalam
The sultanate of Brunei is known for grande palaces, mosques, virgin rainforest and the world's largest floating village. Some of their must-see destinations are:
  • Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque : one of themost-knowned icon in Brunei. The mosque lays in the middle of artificial lagoon.
  • Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque: the country's largest mosque.
  • Kampong Ayer: world's largest floating village, consist of more than 40 smaller settlements connected with a maze-like network of wooden broadwalks.
  • Royal Regalia Museum : offer a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of a Sultan, from his silver jubilee to jewels and gold.
  • Tasek Lama Recreational Park : only few kilometres north of Bandar Seri Begawan, this place offer a slice of nature in the heart of the city.
  • Taman Pesiaran Damuan Park: a place to meet endemic and endangered monkey straight in the wildlife
  • Gadong Night Market : open from 4PM, this night market in Bandar Seri Begawan offer unlimited variant of local cuisine.
Important articles and reliable sources
Reliable sources:
  • Guidelines of the Entry Pass applications to enter Brunei Darussalam here
  • Brunei Darussalam's Travel advisory on the Coronavirus Disease here
  • Brunei Tourism official site here