(L-R) Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister of Health, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Awang Mohd Isham Haji Jaafar, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof and during a press conference at the Ministry of Health on 14/05/2020. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Brunei is set to lift COVID-19 social distancing restrictions in phases beginning May 16 as the virus outbreak in the country is under control, announced the ministry of health.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the reduction of measures in selected public and commercial areas with some restrictions imposed.

These areas, for the first phase of de-escalation plan, include driving schools; gyms and fitness centres; sports facilities (indoor and outdoor); golf courses; restaurants, cafes and food courts; stalls and markets.

Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Hj Jaafar in a press conference said that the members of the public must adhere to the regulations and directives related to the reduction of social distancing measures.

The ministry will continue to monitor the situation of the outbreak in the country, regionally and globally, and carry out ongoing risk assessments to consider further mitigation measures.

“If the outbreak is again alarming, the ministry of health will not hesitate to tighten the social distancing measures that need to be taken to control the outbreak,” he said.

Source: Ministry of Health

Business premises entry quota, BruHealth app registration

On his part, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew said that premises will only be allowed to accommodate 30 per cent capacity at one time.

Businesses are required to register for the ‘BruHealth QR Code’ while the public are to download the BruHealth app.

“Members of the public are required to scan before entering and leaving a premise,” the minister said.

Entry will be subjected to the individual’s colour code where if their colour code is green or yellow, they will be allowed to enter. Red, blue or purple codes will be denied entry.

Sumbangsih food court located in Beribi seen empty as no dine-ins are allowed to curb COVID-19 spread. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

The tracing app is now available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

For BruHealth merchant registration, business owners are required to register at healthinfo.gov.bn/register

Dine-in eateries, markets still close

The Ministry of Home Affairs also announced that all eateries in the country are allowed to serve dine-in services at their premises while weekly markets in Tutong and Belait districts remain closed.

Food premises such as restaurants, cafes and food courts must observe the rules already set by the ministry which include;

  • No buffets are allowed;
  • To limit the number of patrons to only 30 per cent capacity at one time;
  • Temperature checks before entering the premises;
  • Dine-in customers are encouraged to make bookings in prior

Meanwhile, food stalls under the jurisdiction of the district office, municipal department and youth and sports department must limit their diners to 50 per cent capacity at one time.

A restaurant seen empty as dine-ins are not allowed to curb the spread of COVID-19. Image: Fazizul Haqimie

Requirements for food operators and business owners

The ministry further said that eateries must obtain the BruHealth QR code from the newly-launched app.

The QR code needs to be printed and placed at the entrance of their premises for customers’ easy scanning.

Furthermore, businesses must maintain physical and social distancing when at the premises or food stalls and other directives include;

  • Must display a notice indicating the maximum dine-in capacity at a suitable place;
  • Eateries are not allowed to increase the number of seats from their normal dine-in capacity;
  • Eateries to prepare a designated area for takeaway services;
  • Must provide hand sanitisers at the eateries;
  • Arrange appropriate dine-in layout to maintain physical distancing;
  • Eateries and food stalls must adhere to guidelines for cleaning and sanitation of premises;
  • Must wear face masks  

Any food operator or business found not complying with the mentioned conditions is subject to legal action under the Infectious Diseases Act (Section 204).

Restaurants and other eateries in the country are not allowed to offer buffet, as part of the measures to control the spread of the COVID-19. Image: Azrina Zin

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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