- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Additional Information
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
Avoid non-essential travel.
Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020
Emergency responses to the Covid-19 crisis in many countries have included restrictions of flights to/from Europe; imposition of new mandatory quarantine arrangements and new restrictions affecting the admission of Irish people travelling to and within the Asia Pacific region.
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly advises against any non–essential travel to the region until further notice.
For more information, please see the latest update on our webpage.
A number of cases of the Novel Coronavirus have been reported in the region.
We strongly recommend that Irish citizens familiarise themselves with and observe local law and customs before visiting Brunei, including shariah/syariah/sharia law. Most laws under Common Law and the Sharia Criminal Code apply to all people in Brunei, regardless of nationality or religion and penalties can be very severe (including the death penalty).
Because there is no Irish Embassy or Consulate in Brunei, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Irish Embassy in Singapore.
We suggest you learn as much as you can about Brunei before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Brunei, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
EU Directive on Consular Protection
Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.
Our tips for safe travels
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates
- Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Crime levels are low, but there are occasional incidents of petty crime against tourists. Take particular care of your passport, avoid carrying valuables with you and do not leave possessions in unattended vehicles, even if out of sight in a locked boot.
Following an incident in September 2014, the police advise individuals against hiking alone in the forest, including at well-known recreation areas.
There is a low threat from terrorism, but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.
Drivers of vehicles not registered in Brunei can only purchase motor fuel at 10 designated filling stations throughout the country, to a maximum of 250 litres. Filling a foreign car is more expensive as the purchase price does not include a government subsidy.
If you wish to drive in Brunei, we recommend that you bring your full, valid Irish driving license as well as your International Driving Permit.
Driving standards differ from Ireland. Traffic will not always stop at red lights or pedestrian crossings. Speeding and non-use of seatbelts is common. Road conditions are generally good but you should take extra care while driving through heavy rain as road surfaces can be uneven.
If you are involved in a road accident as a driver, you should not leave the scene or move the vehicle until the police have attended.
It is easy to get lost when visiting the rainforest. Use recognised and well-known guides, and stay on the footpaths.
Avoid any demonstrations or large gatherings of people. International news events can sometimes trigger anti-Western demonstrations. Keep yourself informed of developments, and if you become aware of any nearby protests, leave the area immediately.
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.
Local laws reflect the fact that Brunei is an Islamic country. You should dress modestly and respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times. This is especially important during the holy month of Ramadan when it is an offence to consume food, drink or tobacco in public during the fasting hours or if you intend to visit religious areas.
On 22 October 2013 a new Sharia criminal code was enacted. The new code sets out severe corporal penalties and punishments. From April 2019, there are further severe punishments including amputation for cases of theft and death by stoning, for sex between men or for adultery. Homosexual activity and adultery were already illegal in Brunei.
His Majesty The Sultan and other members of the Bruneian Royal Family are highly revered and public criticism of them would cause great offence. It is also an offence to criticise Islam.
Most laws under Common Law and the Sharia Criminal Code apply to all people in Brunei, regardless of nationality or religion.
Possession of pornographic material is illegal.
The sale of alcohol in Brunei is prohibited. Non-Muslims over 17 years of age may import duty free two bottles of wine or spirits and twelve cans of beer on entry into Brunei, but must declare them to the customs authorities on arrival and consume them in private. There must be at least a 48-hour gap between each import. Keep the customs slip in case of inspection.
Smoking is prohibited in certain public places, including shopping and eating areas, bus stops and stations and government buildings. Offenders may be fined. It's difficult to buy cigarettes in Brunei and there's no duty-free allowance for tobacco or tobacco products, even for personal consumption.
There are severe penalties for drug offences in Brunei, including the death penalty.
Entry requirements (visa/passport)
If you are unsure of what the entry requirements for Brunei are, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Brunei.
You should ensure that your passport is valid for a minimum of six months after the conclusion of any trip to Brunei and other countries within South East Asia.
Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Brunei.
Health and medical services in Brunei are generally acceptable, though basic hospital supplies can run low from time to time. Medical evacuation to Singapore may be necessary if there are complications. Always get comprehensive medical insurance before you travel to Brunei that will cover this eventuality.
Take precautions against malaria by getting up-to-date medical advice about anti-malarial medication before you travel. When you arrive, take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
If you require emergency assistance from the Embassy, please contact us on +65 6238 7616.
If you call outside normal working hours with an emergency involving an Irish citizen, you will be given instructions to call another number to speak to a Duty Officer
Embassy of Ireland
541 Orchard Road
#08-00 Liat Towers
Monday to Friday 09:30 - 13:00 and 13:30 – 16:30
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.