Brunei

Brunei

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Sultanate of Brunei is located in Southeast Asia in the South China sea, along the northern coast of the island of Borneo. The government is a constitutional sultanate (monarchy) with a sultan as both chief of state and head of government. The sultan also serves as head of the Islamic faith. The royal family has ruled Brunei for over 600 years. This small country, with a population of about 430,000 people, has a very high standard of living due to rich energy resources. Citizens do not pay income taxes or capital gains tax and receive free medical care and education through the university level. The Brunei Dollar is pegged to the Singapore dollar and both currencies are legal tender in both Brunei and Singapore under a Currency Interchangeability Agreement. Although Malay is the official language, English is widely spoken.

From about the 15th to the 17th centuries, Brunei controlled large areas of northwest Borneo and the southern Philippines. After a period of internal conflict over royal succession, and as a result of European colonial expansion, Brunei became a British protectorate in 1888, and gained full independence in 1984.

In spite of strong international criticism, Brunei became the first East Asian country to adopt Islamic sharia law and penal code in 2014. In spite of a large non-Muslim population, the country is officially Muslim.

Travellers to Brunei can enjoy one of the many eco-tours, visit the Belalong National Park in the rainforest, river cruises and diving among shipwrecks. The country is home to many species of plants and animals, including the proboscis monkeys and other primates, macaques, kingfishers.

Currency BND: Brunei dollar
Language Malay
Capital Bandar Seri Begawan
Recent Alerts None
Latest Alert Not Available

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Brunei. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Brunei.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Brunei through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through consumption of contaminated food and water in Brunei, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis occurs in this country with year-round transmission. Travellers who are staying for a month or longer at at higher risk of exposure, especially if travelling in rural areas with rice fields and marshlands.

Malaria

There is very low risk of exposure to a particular type of malaria found mostly in monkeys in forested areas in Brunei. Nevertheless, travellers should follow all recommendations to avoid mosquito bites. Anti-malaria medication is not recommended.

Rabies

Rabies has only been reported in wild animals in this country. Most travellers are considered to be at low risk for rabies. Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers who may have direct contact with wild animals while involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers). Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Tuberculosis

There is a risk of exposure to tuberculosis, especially in health care workers or for people who care for a person who is sick with this infection.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in Brunei, however, there is a certificate requirement. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required from travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission, and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is known to have occurred or has the potential to occur in this country.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever is known to have occurred or has the potential to occur in this country.

Zika Fever

Zika virus is potentially endemic in Brunei. The risk to travellers to Brunei is unknown.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Brunei.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

Due to the risk of exposure to hepatitis A, vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Due to the risk of exposure to hepatitis B, vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities and rural areas.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever in Brunei, however, there is a certificate requirement. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required from travellers over 1 year of age arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission, and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Travellers involved in outdoor and other activities that might bring them into direct contact with dogs, bats and other mammals (such as campers, hikers, adventure travellers and cavers), as well as travellers with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wild life professionals and researchers), and long-term travellers and expatriates should be vaccinated.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Vaccination against Japanese encephalitis is recommended for short-term (<1 month) travellers to endemic areas during Japanese encephalitis virus transmission season if their itinerary or activities will increase their risk (e.g. spending substantial time outdoors in rural or agricultural areas; staying in accommodations without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets.) Vaccination is recommended for travellers in an area with an ongoing outbreak of Japanese encephalitis. Long-term travellers (i.e. trips lasting a month or more) to endemic areas during Japanese encephalitis virus transmission season should also be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Brunei.

None required.

Safety and Security in Brunei

Emergency Numbers

993
995
998 Search and rescue

Personal Safety

The crime rate is low in this country, and most travellers have no problems. However, occasional petty crime, such as pickpocketing or other theft, can occur. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport.

Brunei is an Islamic state. It is against the law to sell alcohol, and there are strict laws governing bringing alcohol into the country. Gambling is illegal. Smoking in public places is not allowed. Dress and behave conservatively to avoid offending or drawing unwanted attention.

It is illegal to make negative comments about the royal family or matters involving the royal family.

Road travel can be unsafe. Drivers may not follow standard rules of the road, and speeding is common. If you are involved in a traffic accident, do not leave the scene or move your vehicle until police have arrived.

Committing adultery with a Muslim or close proximity between a man and woman is a legal offence and may bring a fine and/or imprisonment or even corporal punishment. Homosexual relations and behaviours are illegal. Penalties can include imprisonment and even the death penalty.

After an attack on a hiker in September 2014, the police advise individuals against hiking alone in the forest, including at well-known recreation areas. Use reputable guides.

Political Unrest

To minimize safety risk, always avoid any large public gatherings or demonstrations. Even peaceful situations can quickly and unexpectedly escalate and become violent. In some countries, it is illegal for foreigners to participate in political activities.

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