Sunday, February 25, 2024
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High vaccination rates impetus for easing travel restrictions

Rokiah Mahmud

Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong said the reason behind easing the Sultanate’s travel restriction for Travel Green List countries is mainly due to continuous review and assessment made while looking at the current situation of the green listed countries as well as the current situation in the Sultanate.

The minister added that the decision was also based on almost 100 per cent of the population having received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine while over 60 per cent receiving the booster.

“The current COVID-19 trend also shows a decrease after reaching its peak within the past two to three weeks,” he said.

The ease of travel restrictions is also due to people adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and that the country is in the Early Endemic Phase. “Therefore, in looking at the reasons, the government has put an effort in easing travel restrictions while providing convenience for people to travel and for inbound travel to the Sultanate.”

Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar assured that the situation of the Travel Green List countries will also be reviewed from time to time. “This is so we can add more countries in the list.”

On the opening of land borders, the minister said the matter will be reviewed from time to time, similar to when the government declared the Green List countries in December: Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia and China.

“But now, the list has been expanded and the process will continue,” he said.

“When we activated the Travel Green List countries in December, the Omicron variant emerged causing a surge of infections in a number of countries.

“Review and assessment will be carried out in assuring the safety and well-being of our citizens and residents as well as those who travel into the country,” the minister said.

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