April 14, 2021
By Emily Lim
In March 2021, Brunei Darussalam announced its “New Normal” fifth de-escalation of national coronavirus restrictions. The country’s last case of local infection was reported over 300 days ago. With Covid-19 recovery on the horizon, the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Air Travel Pass (ATP) arrangements has eased business and official travel from Brunei to Singapore.
It is also worth taking note of Singapore’s new Connect@Changi facility to help business travellers have face-to-face meetings without the need to quarantine. Connect@Changi is the first facility of its kind in the world and the first phase of the development opened in February 2021 (More details in this article).
Currently, Brunei and China are the only countries with both the RGL and ATP arrangement with Singapore. If you are a business traveller from Brunei looking to visit Singapore, read on to know about the entry requirements and which entry pass will best suit you.
For Singaporeans looking to travel to Brunei from Singapore, this article also covers the steps you need to take for an Entry Travel Pass to Brunei.
Travellers from Brunei Darussalam can enter Singapore with one of the following passes, if the eligibility criteria is met:
You are eligible to apply for the SafeTravel Pass-RGL if your journey is sponsored by a Singaporean company or government agency. You must also meet the following requirements:
Sponsors can submit a SafeTravel Pass-RGL application between 2 and 5 weeks before the intended week of entry. The applications can take up to seven days (excluding day of application) to process. Therefore, any application submitted less than 8 days from the intended date of entry will not be accepted.
Meanwhile, short-term business or general travellers from Brunei can apply for the Air Travel Pass. If you are a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident, you do not require an ATP.
Before applying for an ATP, here are some conditions you must fulfil:
ATP applications must be made between 7 and 30 calendar days before your intended date of entry into Singapore. Once approved, an approval letter will be sent to you via email. The ATP is valid for single entry into Singapore anytime from your intended date of entry and up to 7 calendar days after.
You can make your travel reservations prior to the Air Travel Pass/ SafeTravel Pass-RGL application as you/your sponsor will be required to provide your travel details including flight numbers and arrival time.
Other than the eligibility criteria, the main difference pre-departure for those travelling via Air Travel Pass – it is essential that you remain in your declared point of departure for 14 consecutive days before departing to Singapore. There is no such requirement under the SafeTravel Pass-RGL but travellers must monitor their health closely.
You should not travel to Singapore if you have symptoms, or had close contact with any person with COVID-19 within the 14 days. For those travelling via the SafeTravel Pass-RGL, you are required to declare your 14-day travel itinerary in Singapore via the SG Arrival e-card (travellers with ATP are not required to submit itinerary).
Under the SafeTravel Pass-RGL, you will be permitted to stay up to 14 days in Singapore. With the ATP, your duration of stay in Singapore will be generally based on your passport prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The steps to follow before departure are similar for both ATP and RGL travellers. First, you are required to have travel insurance with a minimum coverage of $30,000 for Covid-19 related medical and hospital treatment. Don’t forget to bring a copy of your travel insurance when entering Singapore.
You will be required to take a COVID-19 PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test 72 hours prior to your departure to Singapore. The negative test result must be on official paper in English and must clearly state the date and time that the test was taken.
Here are a list of PCR test centres authorised by the Government of Brunei Darussalam:
Travellers are requested to submit the negative PCR test result, declare their health and travel history, and details of flight and hotel accomodation through the SG Arrival e-card service.
Prior to your departure to Changi Airport from Brunei, you will be required to register and pre-pay for a COVID-19 PCR test to be completed at Changi International Airport. The cost of the test is S$160 and the result will be known within 48 hours.
While awaiting the COVID-19 PCR test results, travellers need to have pre-booked two days isolation accommodation at an approved hotel. A list of approved hotels can be found here.
You must also download and register your profile on the TraceTogether app on a mobile device that is compatible. For those who do not own or prefer not to use a mobile phone, you may collect a physical TraceTogether token.
At immigration arrival in Singapore, you will be required to produce the following documents:
The first entry requirement upon arrival at Changi Airport is to take a COVID-19 PCR test. After that, you are required to head straight to your self-isolated accommodation to await your test results within 48 hours. During this short commute (between the airport to your hotel), it is advised to hire a pre-arranged, private transportation to take you to your hotel. You are not allowed to take any public transport for this commute.
If you test positive for Covid-19, you will be given medical treatment in Singapore at your own expense. Once you have been cleared of the Covid-19 test results, you can leave your declared accommodation and go about your activities in Singapore.
If you are travelling under the SafeTravel Pass-RGL, you must adhere to your 14-day submitted itinerary throughout the duration of your stay. For travelling, you can use a private hire car or the same designated vehicle that transported you from the airport. You are not allowed to use public transport at any time.
Although it is not mandatory for Air Travel Pass holders to follow an itinerary, there are still strict public health measures in place to follow. Wearing a mask at all times is mandatory and can only be removed when eating or drinking.
You must upload all your information on the TraceTogether app and check in and out of each location using the locations SafeEntry QR codes. The bluetooth mode on your mobile must be on at all times to enable TraceTogether’s functions. These apps must remain installed and data retained for at least 14 days after returning from Singapore.
Should you require an extension of your pass, submit your application to at least 7 days prior to the expiry of your pass to avoid overstaying. Each application will be reviewed and there is no guarantee that an extension will be granted.
Singapore has successfully minimised the impact of COVID-19 and still has strict regulations in place. Any breach of quarantine or other COVID-19 regulations carry steep penalties including a six month jail sentence, a S$10,000 fine – or both.
If returning from official or essential travels, citizens or permanent residents of Brunei returning to Singapore do not need to be tested in Singapore before their return. You will be served an Isolation Notice served at the Brunei International Airport, with cost borne by the traveller.
However, you may qualify for a shortened isolation period if a certificate of negative result from a COVID 19 RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departing from Singapore is submitted. You can take a COVID-19 PCR test at a certified clinic or SHN facility in Singapore.
Citizens or permanent residents of Brunei (or their sponsors) are advised to submit an arrival declaration. Travellers are required to upload these supporting documents with their declaration:
Upon arrival, the traveller will be required to self-isolate at hotel accomodation for a period of between 2 to 14 days depending on the self-isolation notice that is given upon arrival as determined by the Brunei Ministry of Health. Accommodation for the duration of post-arrival self-isolation must be selected from the drop down menu on the Arrival Declaration Form.
Travellers are advised to book a minimum duration of 6 days stay at the hotel, inclusive of private transportation from the airport direct to the hotel and to the COVID-19 PCR test center (costs borne by traveller). Travellers returning to Brunei will be required to undergo a post-arrival COVID-19 PCR test (cost of borne by the Brunei Government) either on Day 1 or Day 5 after their arrival.
Additionally, it is also a requirement of the Singapore Government that all RGL travellers who have visited Singapore must retain the Trace Together app on their mobile for 14 days after leaving the country. If you test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of leaving Singapore, you must contact your Singaporean host so that they can provide your Trace Together data to the Singapore Ministry of Health.
Yes, under the Reciprocal Green Lane agreement, Singaporeans can travel to Brunei on business and official duty with an Entry Travel Pass Letter issued by the Brunei government. Applications must be submitted by a sponsor (agency or sponsoring family member in Brunei) on behalf of the traveller at least 8 days before intended travel date.
If the traveller intends to travel for business to Brunei, the private company (sponsoring agency) must obtain and submit a letter of endorsement from the relevant Bruneian authority or government agency.
Travelers are required to undertake pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR testing within 72 hours prior to departure at a medical center recognized by the government of Singapore. Upon arrival, travelers will be required to undergo self-isolation at hotel accommodation for a period of between 2 to 14 days depending on the self-isolation notice that is given upon arrival as determined by the Ministry of Health’s risk assessment.
In order to be eligible for the Entry Travel Pass from Brunei:
The sponsoring agency must provide the following documents with the application:
As countries continue to monitor COVID-19 recovery and reassess travel restrictions, keep yourself up to date of travel requirements for the country you are visiting.
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