I am a Bruneian personal shopper, whose business revolves around bringing in items from the United Kingdom (UK).
While I understand the necessity of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I have lost thousands of dollars in air and train fares in the UK as a result of the measures.
I have applied for permission to leave the country five times, and each application has been rejected on the ground that it is not deemed essential travel. However, as a person whose livelihood requires travelling overseas, my earnings have nosedived since the border restrictions.
I spoke with the airline recently regarding my chances of getting the green light. I was told that businessmen have been able to travel abroad. It seems rather unfair to base what is deemed essential travel on a person’s socio-economic standing in the society.
I know I don’t have a conventional job; but that’s what I do for a living. I hope the authorities would consider the plight of self-employed individuals, especially personal shoppers, as we need to travel abroad in order to generate an income.