Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Brunei continues to implement restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 as of April 27. Entry ban for foreigners remains in place.
This alert affects Brunei Darussalam
This alert began 27 Apr 2020 07:40 GMT and is scheduled to expire 27 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Entry bans, quarantine measures
Bruneian authorities continue to implement restrictions to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government has prohibited all mass gatherings, including weddings, sporting events, and Ramadan bazaars. Mosques, suraus, and other religious halls remain closed. Authorities will only allow the religious facilities to reopen if there are no new COVID-19 cases for 28 consecutive days in the country. Officials have advised malls and shop owners to limit the number of customers entering their premises; restaurants are only providing takeaway orders.
Foreign nationals, including long-term pass holders, remain banned from entering or transiting Brunei. Only foreigners whose work relates to matters of national interest, such as transporting essential goods, can enter the country. Existing travel, student, and dependent visas remain suspended. All arriving travelers will undergo a 14-day quarantine at designated facilities. Officials have barred local nationals, permanent residents, and foreigners holding Bruneian identification cards from leaving the country. Only people departing to seek medical treatment or to resume studies overseas can leave the country, after obtaining approval from the Prime Minister's Office. Authorities could expand their response in the coming weeks.
Background and Analysis
The measures adopted by the government are similar to actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.