Monday, July 15, 2024
26 C
Brunei Town

When will land borders re-open?

It’s been two years since the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our way of life. Travel has been restricted and our daily conducts changed to meet the new normal. So it’s good to see some normalcy returning as we continue down the endemic path.

While the authorities have opened up air travel, I’m sure it is on the public mind as to when land borders would follow suit.

For most Bruneians, visiting a neighbouring Malaysian town used to be a weekend excursion, with some taking advantage of the exchange rate to lower monthly expenditure.

It can be argued that the closure of borders not only kept the spread of the virus at a manageable rate, it also encouraged the populace to spend locally, thus creating a market for creatively entrepreneurial individuals to meet new demands.

However, while it is good to see the local economy doing well, especially smaller businesses that can fill the void created by the pandemic and travel restrictions, the past two years of rollercoaster ride, in terms of measures and anxiety, have led to a growing need to “get away”.

Air travel is costlier these days, compared to pre-pandemic times. For those in the high-income brackets, it is a matter of weighing the pros and cons to holidaying overseas during a period when travel expenses are especially high. However, the rest of us have no choice but to wait for more affordable options to open up – land travel.

Seeing that regional countries have begun to open their land borders makes me wonder why there is a delay in reaching a decision. With most of us vaccinated and growing number of people boosted, we have done everything we can to keep us from the most severe of COVID-19 symptoms. Is it not time to open up land travel?

The Observer