Borders have re-opened and travel restrictions are all virtually lifted in most parts of the world, and Brunei Darussalam is no exception.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, air travel or even land border crossing was virtually impossible in most parts of the world as countries tried to keep down cases.
There was also a lot of anxiety surrounding the much unknown disease back then, and topped off with meticulous inbound and outbound travel requirements.
Three years on, the world is embracing the new normal and most probably decided that it had enough – we can’t live isolated forever. Although health safety measures are still in place to remain vigilant against the virus, people are starting to pack their bags and travel once again.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced passenger data for August 2022 showing continued momentum in the air travel recovery. Total traffic in August 2022 was up 67.7 per cent compared to August 2021. Globally, traffic is now at 73.7 per cent of pre-crisis levels.
International traffic rose 115.6 per cent versus August 2021 with airlines in Asia delivering the strongest year-over-year growth rates. Asia-Pacific airlines had a 449.2 per cent rise in August traffic compared to August 2021, data showed.
Are you planning to travel anytime soon?
Here’s a list of 10 key destinations in Asia that have eased COVID-19 entry rules:
All travellers are allowed to enter Malaysia regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status and do not require a pre-departure or on-arrival COVID-19 test. They also no longer need to fill in the traveller’s card in the MySejahtera mobile application.
Malaysia’s health ministry advises all travellers, who have just arrived from overseas to self-monitor their health, comply with the standard operating procedures and to go to a health facility if feeling unwell.
Japan maintained some of the strictest border measures among major economies, effectively blocking entry to visitors for two years until it began a gradual re-opening in June.
Japan has restored individual tourism and visa-waiver travel to people from certain countries as long as they are vaccinated against COVID-19.
It has also removed a daily cap on arrivals. Tourists can now visit Japan on package tours without a guide. All arrivals, including Japanese nationals, have been exempt from submitting proof of a negative COVID-19 test if they have received their third vaccine shot.
Travellers are no longer required to apply for Thailand Pass, which was an online platform to submit documents before entry to Thailand.
No COVID entry requirements will be imposed on any visitors to the Southeast Asian country.
Travel Insurance is still highly recommended, however.
If you’re going to South Korea, you no longer need to present a negative on-arrival PCR test within 24 hours of your arrival.
For ease of travel, it is recommended that you register your personal information in the Korean Q-code registration system before travelling to South Korea on its website. You will receive a generated QR code for your arrival.
Travellers eligible for visa-free entry must also register for the Korea Electronic Travel Authorisation, or K-ETA, if they are visiting for fewer than 90 days.
You must have received a full initial COVID-19 vaccine course to enter Indonesia. Children under 18 are not required to be vaccinated to enter Indonesia.
On arrival, travellers need to complete a COVID-19 symptom check, and temperature check.
All travellers (domestic and international) must use PeduliLindungi application.
Hotel quarantine is no longer required for international arrivals to Hong Kong.
The territory has scrapped the three-day hotel quarantine requirement, ending travel curbs that have kept the finance hub globally isolated for the past two and a half years.
Travellers arriving from overseas will be able to return home or to their accommodation and they will have to self-monitor for three days after entering Hong Kong.
During the three-day period, they will be allowed to go to work or school but will not be allowed to enter restaurants.
A pre-flight PCR test which was required for travellers to Hong Kong 48 hours before flying has been replaced with a rapid antigen test.
The Philippines is open to all fully vaccinated international tourists. Fully-vaccinated foreigners from visa-required countries do not need an exemption document to enter the country but still need to follow the immigration, visa, and testing procedures set by the government.
Travellers aged 18 and above are exempted from the testing requirement as long as they can present proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination and at least one booster shot. Minors aged 12 to 17 are not required to have a booster shot and only need to present proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination. Children aged 11 and below are not required to be vaccinated, but they need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian who complies with their own entry requirements.
Singapore is open to all travellers without quarantine, subject to pre-departure COVID-19 testing for travellers who are not fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines. Depending on the destination you are travelling from, mask-wearing aboard flights and ferries to Singapore may not be required. Travellers are advised to check with the respective transport operator on the mask-wearing requirement prior to their trip.
All travellers entering Singapore via air or sea must submit their electronic health declaration before they enter Singapore, using the SG Arrival Card e-service up to three days before arrival.
All Vietnam destinations are open, no self-isolation is required, and all regulations for SARS-CoV-2 testing required before entering has been suspended.
It is important to check visa, entry and exit requirements for your destination, and all your transit locations.
Many destinations may still have strict entry and exit measures in place. Some airlines also have strict vaccination and mask mandates.
Check that you’re eligible for a visa and can meet all other entry requirements before booking anything.
Contact the embassy or consulate for your destination to confirm requirements.