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COVID-19 – Global travel advisory
Effective date: March 13, 2020
Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
This advisory overrides other risk levels on this page, with the exception of any risk levels for countries or regions where we advise to avoid all travel.
Brunei - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Brunei.
Safety and security
COVID-19 – Preventative measures and restrictions
Preventative measures as well as restrictions are in place and may change without notice.
If you violate restrictions, you could be fined and face criminal charges for endangering public health.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including those related to physical distancing.
COVID-19 response – Ministry of Health of Brunei
Violent crime is rare.
Petty crime, such as break-ins and theft, occurs. Crime increases in July when school is out of session, and during the December holidays.
Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times. Do not leave possessions in unattended vehicles.
If you intend on trekking in the rainforest:
- use recognized and well-known guides
- stay on the footpaths
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your trekking area, including when you expect to return from your activity
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out and do not venture off marked paths
Road conditions and road safety are good throughout the country.
Speeding, running red lights and distracted driving are common traffic infractions. In case of an accident, remain at the scene and do not move your vehicle until police arrive.
You can get a self-drive rental or chauffeur-driven car from major hotels and the airport. You should make arrangements for this before you arrive.
Buses operate between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. but are infrequent.
You can usually get a metered taxi at hotels, shopping centres and the airport. Your hotel can arrange for a taxi or provide a taxi driver’s cell-phone number. Some drivers will negotiate a fare.
Water taxis are the most common form of transport to and from Kampong Ayer. Fares are negotiable.
Brunei Metered Taxi - Land Transport Department of Brunei
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
In an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory.
Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any specific restrictions or requirements related to this situation. Consider even your transit points, as many destinations have implemented strict transit rules which could disrupt your travel.
These could include:
- entry bans, particularly for non-residents
- exit bans
- quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
- proof of a negative COVID-19 test result
- health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
- travel authorization documents to be obtained before you travel
- border closures
- airport closures
- flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
- suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options
Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance related to changes to your travel plans.
- Monitor the media for the latest information
- Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
- Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions
Foreign Representatives in Canada – Global Affairs Canada
The Government of Brunei has banned all Bruneians, permanent residents and those with resident permits from leaving the country. Applications for exceptional permission to travel for urgent matters will be considered by the Bruneian Prime Minister’s Office.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from Bruneian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Brunei.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: required for stays of more than 14 days
Business visa: required for stays of more than 14 days
Student visa: required
If you need a visa, you must have at least 6 blank pages in your passport.
You will not be allowed entry into Brunei if you have HIV/AIDS or any other communicable disease. You will be asked to complete a health declaration form upon entry.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada - April 1, 2021
- Global Measles Notice - July 23, 2019
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Southeast Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Southeast Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas of Southeastern Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- In this country, dengue fever is a risk to travellers year-round. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, global numbers have been steeply rising again.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Southeastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing facilities
Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:
Local COVID-19 testing facilities - Government of Brunei
Medical services and facilitiesMedical facilities are good, but medical evacuation to Singapore may be necessary for serious medical problems.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Death is the mandatory penalty for many narcotics offences, including trafficking controlled drugs, even in very small amounts.
- Alcohol, drugs and travel
- Cannabis and international travel
- Narcotics Control Bureau - Government of Brunei
You can’t purchase alcohol in Brunei and the import of alcohol is strictly regulated.
Import regulations - Ministry of Finance of Brunei
The following activities are illegal and convicted offenders can face severe penalties:
- possession of pornographic material
- possession of firearms, weapons and related accessories
- photography of government and military establishments or equipment
- persuading or inciting a Muslim to neglect their religious duties
- promoting any religion other than Islam
Overstaying a visa
Immigration regulations are strict. Foreign workers who overstay their visas face harsh penalties, including jail sentences and caning. If you’re working in Brunei, closely monitor your immigration status and visa expiration dates.
Extramarital relations and public displays of affection between a Muslim and non-Muslim may be considered a crime in Brunei.
Sharia penal code
The Sharia penal code applies regardless of a person’s religion or nationality. Penalties for certain offences can be severe, and can include physical punishment and the death penalty. Penalties may be applied for certain offences that would not be considered criminal in Canada. Brunei’s existing civil penal code and civil courts will continue to function in parallel with the Sharia penal code and Sharia Court.
Sharia penal code - Attorney General’s Chambers
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), refrain from drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2021, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 12.
Discussing royal family
Avoid any public criticism of His Majesty the Sultan or other members of the Bruneian royal family.
Bruneian law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Those convicted can face severe penalties, including the death penalty.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Brunei.
General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Brunei.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Brunei, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
Traffic drives on the left.
Foreigners holding a driving permit issued by a country that is party to the Geneva Convention may convert that permit to a Brunei permit that can be used for up to one year.
You should carry an international driving permit.
More about the International Driving Permit
Land Transport Department - Government of Brunei
The currency in Brunei is the Brunei dollar.
Natural disasters and climate
Brunei is located in an active seismic zone. However, earthquakes and volcano activity are not common.
The rainy (or monsoon) seasons occur from September to January and from May to July. During these periods, even small storms can quickly develop into major ones. These severe rainstorms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services. They may also cause flooding and landslides.
If you decide to travel to Brunei during the monsoon seasons:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Local weather updates - Brunei Meteorological Department
Unrestricted burning in neighbouring Indonesia periodically causes atmospheric pollution to rise to unhealthy levels. Pollutant standard index levels (PSI reading) change quickly and you should closely monitor them by consulting local news and weather reports.
PSI readings - Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation of Brunei
- police: 993
- medical assistance: 991
- firefighters: 995
Bandar Seri Begawan - High Commission of Canada
The High Commission of Canada in Brunei is now offering consular services from an alternate location. If you need consular assistance, contact the High Commission by email to make an appointment.
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Brunei and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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