BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Brunei has extended the temporary suspension on entry of foreign nationals from Malaysia via land and sea checkpoints until February 10.

The ban applies to cross-border commuters and transit passengers but not air passengers, the Prime Minister’s Office announced in a press statement on Monday.

Brunei barred the entry of travellers from Malaysia on January 13 as the neighbouring country recorded soaring number of COVID-19 cases and declared a state of emergency.

Malaysia has reported a total of 41,076 active coronavirus cases as of Monday, with daily infections averaging 3,048 over the past seven days.

Only essential travellers – with permission from PMO – are allowed to enter and leave the country since Brunei imposed a travel ban on March 24 last year.

Transit through Brunei may only be considered for official government travel; students who are required to attend school and emergency services such as ambulances, police and military.

Malaysia-registered transport operators with cross-country permits issued by the Brunei government can still make cross-border trips to deliver essential goods, but they are also required to get a travel endorsement from Malaysian authorities, the statement added.

The Brunei government will issue transport operators with transit permits and occupants of the vehicles will be subject to existing entry conditions and procedures.

Brunei-registered runners are still not allowed to collect and deliver parcels via land and sea checkpoints until at least February 10.

All Bruneian students required to delay return to unis in ‘high-risk’ countries

The government has further extended the delay of students returning to the UK until February 28.

In December, the education ministry had announced that the delay was due to the discovery of a new COVID-19 strain.

The British government had said the new UK COVID-19 variant could be 30 percent more deadly than the original strain.

UK universities have pushed back the return of students until at least mid-February under the British government’s lockdown restrictions.

Apart from the UK, the Brunei government has also delayed the travel of all Bruneian students to other countries categorised as high-risk by the health ministry.

Civil servants due to travel to high-risk countries under the In-Service Training Scheme will need to postpone their trips until February 28, PMO added in the statement.

Members of the public can contact the travel hotline 120 during working hours for more information.