As the new year dawns on a post-COVID world, travellers are once again returning to favourite holiday spots.
One such location, the tiny Malaysian island of Labuan, was a common day-trip destination prior to the COVID-19 pandemic via ferry services departing from Serasa.
Yesterday, a full boat of travellers departed for Labuan for an overnight trip as at the moment there were no day-return service.
The limited frequency of ferry services, according to the Marine and Port Authorities Brunei Darussalam (MPABD), were due to technical problems as many vessels were on a long break during the COVID-19 pandemic, and have to undergo re-certification.
Some of the passengers yesterday said they hoped operators would return day-trip services, as there are many who love to travel to the island. This include senior citizens who make the trip to purchase popular food items like ikan pusu or udang kering, one passenger said to the Sunday Bulletin.
“Those items are popular among Bruneians, while some go to Labuan to visit their relatives,” said the passenger.
Another passenger missed the first boat and had to wait another four-and-a-half hours for the last boat out.
However, given the limited service, she was glad to be able to go at all. “This will be my first reunion with my family there after the pandemic,” she said.