Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Travel restrictions’ guidelines revised

Izah Azahari

The exit-country guideline requiring individuals to be fully vaccinated with a third dose for citizens and residents of Brunei Darussalam and those intending to return to the country is now extended to individuals aged 12 to 17, effective May 15.

The announcement was made by Minister of Home Affairs Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong during the daily press conference yesterday.

Taking into consideration on the effectiveness of antigen rapid test (ART) in detecting active infections among individuals, as shown by data analysis (concordance and negative predictive value), the minister said local statistics have shown that there is no difference in infection risk between those arriving from countries under the Travel Green List (TGL) and those arriving from non-TGL countries, as well as the coordination of health protocols in the country.

“Cross-border travel protocols will be updated and subsequently implemented starting May 6,” the minister added.

This includes non-essential entry travel into Brunei Darussalam via air is permitted for those who have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations from any country without Entry Travel Pass (ETP) applications; the definition for full vaccination is amended from only having two doses of COVID-19 vaccine to having a booster dose or if a booster dose is not yet received, individuals without a booster dose are required to have two doses of COVID-19 vaccinations, of which the second dose has to be obtained not more than three months prior to date of entry into the country; and removal of categorisation of TGL and non-TGL countries.

Other updates include fully vaccinated individuals entering the country are required to perform ART three times after their arrival in the country, such as on the day of arrival (D1), day two and day three.

Undergoing RT-PCR test upon arrival and self-isolation are no longer required, only if the ART results are negative. A BND40 charge will be imposed for the three ART kits; and individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated are only permitted to enter the country if they can verify that they are medically exempted from receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, and are required to undergo ART upon arrival and RT-PCR test on the third day after arrival.

They are also required to undergo self-isolation until RT-PCR results are obtained. The BND100 charge for both ART and RT-PCR still remains.

“Cross-border activities through land and sea control posts are still not permitted, except for essential purposes only,” said the minister.

However, citizens and permanent residents of Brunei returning to the country via land or sea from essential travel are allowed to undergo self-isolation at home or hotels.