Now that travel health insurance has been removed as a pre-requisite for overseas travel, I believe a lot of Bruneians are more than happy to opt out of it.
However, I would like to call on the public to consider getting insured prior to leaving the country regardless, as we are not quite out of the woods yet.
While it is true that we are in the endemic phase, with more restrictions being lifted almost on a weekly basis, there are still people contracting COVID-19 and suffering from the effects of it. It is better to be safe than sorry. It was something that I learnt on my recent trip to a neighbouring country. Having had and recovered from the virus just months ago, I had thought I would be immune for a while. But since I was required to get a travel health insurance at the time, I had no choice but to abide by the rule.
I was glad to be insured medically, because I caught COVID-19 during the trip. I was hospitalised for a few days, during which I was hooked to a ventilator and treated for other COVID-19 symptoms. The bill came up to BND1,000.
My point is, everyone is different. While the authorities have said recovered patients carry a certain level of immunity, it may be truer for some than others. I, unfortunately, belong to the latter.
The risk will be there regardless of the travel measures in place. It is our responsibility to weigh the pros and cons of travelling abroad uninsured. To me, spending a few dollars for a peace of mind is better than having to pay BND1,000 or more for COVID treatments.