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Brunei

Overview

Ministry of Health (MOH) Public Health Advisory

Please refer to the MOH COVID-19 website for updates on the latest precautionary measures implemented to further reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 to Singapore. These include travel advisories and further restrictions on travellers coming into Singapore. 

 

Negara Brunei Darussalam (the nation of Brunei, the abode of peace) is a constitutional monarchy.  Islam is Brunei’s official religion.  Brunei is located on the north cost of the island of Borneo, and has been geographically spared from major natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and typhoons.  However, occasional flash floods may occur during the monsoon season at the end of the year.  Brunei’s climate is generally similar to that of Singapore. 

Singaporeans travelling to or living in Brunei may also wish to follow the Singapore High Commission in Bandar Seri Begawan’s Facebook page rel="noopener noreferrer" (https://www.facebook.com/SingaporeHighComBrunei/) for timely travel alerts and updates.

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Singaporeans can visit Brunei for up to 30 days without a visa.  Singaporeans who plan to travel to Brunei and stay there for an extended period of time are strongly advised to closely monitor their immigration status and ensure they do not exceed the permitted length of stay. As visa requirements often change at short notice, we advise you to contact your travel agency, or the High Commission of Brunei Darussalam for up-to-date information.

Custom regulations imposed by Brunei Darussalam’s Customs and Excise Department are available here. For more information, please contact the High Commission of Brunei Darussalam in Singapore.

COVID-19

The Bruneian government has imposed an entry ban on all foreign visitors (non-Brunei citizens/non-Brunei permanent residents), including transit passengers, from 24 March 2020 until further notice. Foreign visitors seeking to enter Brunei must receive prior approval from the Brunei Department of Immigration and National Registration.

From 1 September 2020, foreign visitors from Brunei seeking to enter Singapore can apply for an Air Travel Pass for travel starting from 8 September 2020. Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders returning from Brunei do not need to apply for an Air Travel Pass to enter Singapore. They will undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival, but do not have to serve a Stay-Home Notice in Singapore. Please refer to MOH’s press release https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/updates-on-border-and-community-measures for more details.

For further information on the COVID-19 situation, including travel restrictions/advisories imposed by Brunei, please visit these websites: Brunei Ministry of Health http://www.moh.gov.bn/Pages/Home.aspx; the Brunei High Commission in Singapore http://www.mfa.gov.bn/singapore/Theme/Home2.aspx and  Brunei Immigration and National Registration Department http://www.immigration.gov.bn/en.
 
Singaporeans should also closely monitor the news and official announcements by both the Singaporean and Bruneian governments regarding the COVID-19 situation in Brunei.
 
Singaporeans who require consular assistance may contact the Singapore High Commission in Bandar Seri Begawan using the contact details provided below. Singaporeans in Brunei are strongly encouraged to e-register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/ so that they can be contacted, should the need arise.

Crime: There is a low incidence of serious or violent crimes in Brunei.  Occasional petty crimes, such as residential burglaries, theft and vehicle break-ins, do occur.  Please exercise normal precautions when travelling in the country.  Stay vigilant and do not leave your personal belongings unattended.  

Driving: Foreign-registered vehicles will have to pay non-subsidised petrol prices in Brunei.  Information on these measures is available on the Brunei's Ministry of Energy website.

Local customs: Please dress modestly (e.g. no tank tops, bikinis, shorts and mini skirts) in public areas and respect Islamic and local traditions, customs and laws.  Please be mindful that the Sultan and members of the Royal Family are highly revered.

Local Laws: Negara Brunei Darussalam is a stable and peaceful country, known for its low crime rates and strong rule of law.  Its legal system is based on British common law, with a parallel Syariah law system.  The government has gazetted the Syariah Penal Code Order in 2013, and there are some provisions that applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims.  For example, it is an offence for any person to consume food and drink in public during the fasting hours of Ramadan.   You may wish to refer to the Brunei Attorney-General’s Chambers website at www.agc.gov.bn for more information on the Syariah Penal Code.  

Alcohol: The sale of alcohol is banned in Brunei. Non-Muslims over the age of 17 may import duty-free two bottles of wine or spirits and twelve cans of beer on entry into Brunei for personal consumption in private.   This must be declared at all points of entry upon arrival.

Smoking: Effective from 1 March 2012, smoking in Brunei is prohibited in all enclosed and work places.  The ban also include sidewalks near business premises and a six-metre radius from any building where smoking is banned. 

Drugs: There are severe penalties for all drug offences including capital punishment in some cases.

Please observe all local laws and regulations.  Refer to an updated guide book or consult your travel agency for more information regarding local cultural norms.

Health: A list of the medical facilities in Brunei is available on the Brunei’s Ministry of Health website.

For travel advisory or basic health information on Brunei, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Natural disasters, climate and weather: Brunei has not encountered any major natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and typhoons.  The climate is generally similar to Singapore. However, flooding and mudslides can be common during the wet season (September to January and May to July).  Certain services e.g. power supplies may be affected at these times. Follow the advice of local authorities in the event such incidents occur.

Money: Singapore Dollar is pegged at the same value as Brunei Dollar and can be used in Brunei.  Credit cards are accepted at most major establishments (check with your bank if additional surcharges are applied).  Most other major currencies can be exchanged for Brunei Dollar at banks, hotels or official money changers.

Friday prayers: Most places, including restaurants, are closed on Fridays between 12pm and 2pm for prayers. However, room service meals will still be available.

Overseas Travel – Be Informed & Be Safe [13 November 2019]

In view of the upcoming school holidays, Singaporeans planning overseas travel are reminded to take the necessary precautions, including being prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Singaporeans are also reminded to be familiar with your destination’s local laws and customs restrictions, including immigration procedures and entry requirements.

Singaporeans travelling to and from Malaysia, in particular via the land checkpoints, are reminded to ensure that your passport is presented to a Malaysian immigration officer and stamped correctly before leaving the Malaysian immigration booth. Failure to do so is an immigration offence in Malaysia and the penalties can be severe, including detention, a fine, and a ban from future entry into the country.

In 2019, demonstrations have occurred in several major cities across the world. Such demonstrations can sometimes escalate into violence. It is important for Singaporeans to keep abreast of local news, avoid any protests or demonstrations and heed the advice of the local authorities. 

When participating in outdoor leisure activities overseas, Singaporeans should be mindful that certain sporting activities, especially in open seas, may carry risks. Besides ensuring that one has the physical competencies and appropriate condition to undertake the activity, every effort should be made to ascertain if the trip organiser or guide is reliable and competent, and that appropriate safety and contingency plans are in place. When in doubt, Singaporeans should consult the relevant professional bodies or sporting associations for specific advice.

For those planning to travel, here are some tips:

Before travelling

·  Familiarise yourself with our network of overseas missions.

·  Purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage.

·  Equip yourself with research about your destination’s entry requirements, current situation, local laws and customs.

·  eRegister with us on our website (https://www.mfa.gov.sg) so that we may reach out to you during an emergency.

 

While travelling

·  Always take care of your personal safety, remain vigilant and monitor local weather news, advisories, and security developments.

·  Exercise caution around large gatherings and avoid locations known for demonstrations or disturbances.

·  Be prepared for possible delays and last-minute changes in travel plans especially during unforeseen events such as natural disasters, social unrests or terror attacks.

·  Stay connected with your friends and family. Inform them of your whereabouts and provide them with your overseas contact details.

In the event that you require consular assistance, please contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

Advisory: Email Scams [Updated: 12 May 2016]

There has been an increasing number of reports in recent years of individuals receiving scam emails purportedly sent from friends in distress overseas.  These emails typically originate from an email address known to the receiver bearing claims of the sender getting into trouble overseas and urgently requesting financial assistance.  The sender would also claim to have approached a Singapore Embassy/Consulate and the local Police for help to no avail.

MFA takes the safety of all Singaporeans very seriously.  Singaporeans in distress approaching our Overseas Missions for assistance will be rendered with all necessary consular assistance.  If you receive such emails from purported friends seeking funds transfers, we strongly advise you to call them first to verify the authenticity of the emails before responding to their request.  It is also not advisable to give out any personal information such as NRIC/passport nos., address, telephone number, etc.  Any form of reply, even one of non-interest, could result in more unsolicited emails.  Members of the public who suspect that they have fallen prey to such scams should report the matter to the Police immediately.  Should Singaporeans abroad require consular assistance, they can contact the nearest Mission or call the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24-hr Duty Office at +65 6379 8800/+65 6379 8855.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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