MIRI: Brunei will be opening temporarily the iconic Temburong Bridge, the longest bridge in South East Asia, to ease travel by its citizens while shortening the opening hours of its CIQ by two hours starting today.
Dato Seri Paduka Dr Awang Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, Brunei’s Second Minister of Finance and Economy, announced this yesterday, saying this is to facilitate travel among its citizens between the mainland and Temburong district as Brunei steps up its efforts to contain the transmission of Covid-19 virus.
Brunei on Sunday announced travel restriction for its citizens and residents starting Monday this week in a holistic approach to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus in the country.
The 30km bridge will be open from 6am to 10pm for vehicles under Class I, II, IV and VI only while owners of commercial Class V vehicles must apply to the bridge committee.
The bridge committee, jointly chaired by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Second Minister of Finance and Economy, yesterday announced that the physical works had been fully completed and the project had been handed over to the Public Works Department on March 9 this year. CCTV installation and cabling works are underway and expected to be completed by the end of next month.
The authorities have imposed a speed limit of 80 km per hour and bridge users in trouble can contact its operation centre while Brunei Police would be keeping an eye on users to ensure smooth traffic flow.
Foreign-registered vehicles are to use the designated route (Asean Highway 150).
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Transport and Limbang MP Hasbi Habibolah said he had been informed by Immigration Department in Limbang of the shortening of the CIQ opening hours by Brunei.
The opening hours will now be from 6am to 10pm instead of midnight previously, and this arrangement will be effective today.
Hasbi said the opening of the bridge and shortened opening hours were part of the Brunei government’s efforts in facilitating travel for its citizens between the mainland and Temburong district while battling the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
“I was informed that there is no problem for non-Bruneian citizens on transit through Brunei despite the lockdown but they must be subject to thorough screening and checks by the sultanate,” he said.
The sultanate has taken drastic measures in its fight against this global pandemic, and has also decided to put a temporary limit to number of people in gatherings and has issued guidelines on holding Friday prayers in mosques to reduce risk of transmission among believers.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health of Brunei yesterday confirmed another four Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 54 since Brunei reported its first case a week ago.
Health Minister Dato Seri Setia Dr Mohammad Isham Jaafar said three of the new Covid-19 cases were linked to the Tabligh religious gathering in Malaysia, while one is an imported case.