Health Alert (COVID-19 Update #15) – U.S. Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei (April 8, 2020)

Location:  Brunei

Event:  The Brunei Ministry of Health has confirmed 135 cases of COVID-19 in Brunei Darussalam.

Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA) has announced that it will operate a flight to Kuala Lumpur today, April 8, 2020, followed by weekly flights to Kuala Lumpur in May 2020.  Please contact RBA for details and booking information and note that although Malaysia has enacted travel restrictions that bar most foreign citizens from entering the country, direct international transit via Kuala Lumpur International Airport to destinations with connecting service to the United States remains possible.

RBA has suspended most of its routes until May 31, with limited service continuing to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Manila.  Please note that Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines have all enacted policies barring most foreign citizens from entering or transiting via their airports.  If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.

The Embassy strongly urges those who wish to return to the United States to explore commercial flight options now, as there is no guarantee that the U.S. government will be able to arrange evacuation flights if commercial flights become unavailable.  Also, evacuation flights are not free-of-charge and are, in fact, frequently more expensive than currently available commercial travel.

Citizens, permanent residents, and other residents of Brunei, including foreign citizens who hold green identity cards, require approval from the Prime Minister’s Office in order to leave the country.  This policy does not apply to visitors who do not hold Brunei-government-issued identity cards.  Residents may apply for permission to leave the country by completing an online application on the website of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Government of Brunei Darussalam has implemented additional enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Effective March 24, the government barred all foreign citizens from entering or transiting Brunei by air, land, or sea.  Inquiries about this policy may be directed to the Brunei Department of Immigration and National Registration at info@immigration.gov.bn.

Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Visit the website of the Brunei Ministry of Health for the latest information on these new measures.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.  On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of U.S. personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice.

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Assistance: