Brunei temporarily suspends reciprocal green lane with Singapore

Travellers who have been approved to enter Brunei under the arrangement can do so until the cut-off time on Thursday.
Travellers who have been approved to enter Brunei under the arrangement can do so until the cut-off time on Thursday.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Brunei has temporarily suspended its reciprocal green lane arrangement with Singapore from 7pm on Thursday (May 20) until further notice.

Travellers who had already been approved to enter Brunei under the arrangement could continue to do so until the 7pm cut-off time, the kingdom's Prime Minister's Office said in a statement on Wednesday.

After that time, all travellers from Singapore will be required to undergo self-isolation in a hotel for a period determined by Brunei's Health Ministry, which is continually reviewing the risk assessment of all countries, areas and regions affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This latest suspension means that just one of seven reciprocal green lanes established between Singapore and other countries remains open - the arrangement with China.

The first reciprocal green lane to be suspended was the arrangement between Singapore and Indonesia. This came after Indonesia temporarily banned the entry of all foreign nationals for two weeks between Jan 1 and Jan 14. The green lane has not been re-established.

Japan suspended its reciprocal green lane arrangement with Singapore from Jan 14 after it declared a state of emergency in December.

Then in February, the Republic suspended the arrangements with Germany, Malaysia and South Korea.

Reciprocal green lanes are meant to facilitate short-term essential business and official travel.

Travellers entering Singapore under such arrangements must be sponsored by a company or a government agency here, and are tested before departure and on arrival to ensure they do not carry the virus.

They must self-isolate on arrival until they receive a negative Covid-19 test result.

These travellers must also adhere to a pre-submitted 14-day itinerary, commute using only private-hire cars, taxis or cohorted company transport, and download the TraceTogether application.

On Thursday, Singapore's Health Ministry confirmed another 27 new Covid-19 cases in the community, of which six are unlinked.

There have been 187 community cases in the past week, up from 49 cases the week before. The number of unlinked cases in the community has also increased from nine to 49 cases in the same period.