Suspension on cross-border, Indian subcontinent travel extended

Hakim Hayat

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) yesterday announced the further extension on the temporary suspension of cross-border activities and travels to and from five Indian subcontinent countries for a further two weeks.

A press statement said with the consent of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, and in reference to a media release issued by the PMO on the ‘Extension of Temporary Suspension On Cross-Border Activities and Temporary Suspension on Travelling To and From Five Countries of the Indian Subcontinent’ dated May 31, the temporary suspension of cross-border activities has been extended by two weeks from June 16 to 20.

The cross-border activities apply to entry of foreign nationals via land and sea ports, including transits through the Sultanate, except for entry and transit travels that have been granted approval by the government.

Entry and transits through the country may only be considered for transit vehicles with Transit Permits, provided that travellers have attained endorsement from the local authorities for their travels, and will be subject to existing entry conditions and procedures, for purposes of official government travel; students who are required to attend school; emergency services (such as ambulances, police and military); and vaccinated foreign-registered transport operators with Cross-Country Permits for import deliveries of essential goods; collection and delivery of private goods at border checkpoints handled by runners registered in Brunei Darussalam and entry- and exit-country travels of commuters via land and sea ports for the purpose of work.

The temporary suspension on travelling to and from five countries from the Indian subcontinent – India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh – is also extended by two weeks from June 16 to 30, which applies to entry travels of foreign nationals departing from or through any airport in the subcontinent.

File photo of the Sungai Tujoh Control Post. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM

However, diplomatic passport holders and members of the armed forces working in the Sultanate are allowed to enter the country, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s standard operating procedure.

The temporary suspension also applies to transits through the country for foreign nationals departing from the Indian subcontinent and exit-country travels from Brunei Darussalam to the subcontinent for any reason or business matters.

However, diplomatic passport holders and members of the armed forces working in Brunei Darussalam are allowed to exit the country, as well as foreign nationals who hold an employment or dependent’s pass which has been revoked/cancelled or the holders of the ‘Special Authorisation Work Pass’ or ‘Professional Visit Visa’ who worked temporarily in Brunei Darussalam and will be returning to their countries permanently.

The temporary suspension also applies to foreign nationals who have been granted pre-approvals to enter Brunei Darussalam from the Indian subcontinent via pre-authorised flights, which have therefore been suspended.

The PMO said the conditions for the consideration of entry and exit travel are subject to review by the Cross-Border Affairs Steering Committee from time to time.