The government of Brunei Darussalam has announced additional reductions for COVID-19 social and physical distancing measures, with the guidelines for mass gatherings being further relaxed, allowing a crowd of not more than 200 individuals.
The new measures were announced by the Minister of Health, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Md Isham Jaafar during a press conference on Thursday.
It was stated that a number of premises and business activities will be elevated to new Operation Readiness Levels commencing Monday, August 17 and the changes are as follows;
Elevation of activities from Operation Readiness Level 1 to Level 2
– Arcades and indoor, as well as outdoor children’s playgrounds, will operate at 60 per cent capacity.
Elevation of activities from Operation Readiness Level 2 to Level 3
– Swimming pools will now operate at 80 per cent capacity at any one time and will be opened daily for visitors of all ages, with two hours allotted per individual.
– Cinemas can now operate at 80 per cent guest capacity, provided that guests are seated one seat apart in order to maintain social and physical distancing measures. Children 12 years old and below are now allowed entrance.
– Activity centres for senior citizens will now also operate at 80 per cent capacity.
Elevation of activities from Operation Readiness Level 3 to Level 4
– Special needs classes and child care centres can now operate as normal with 100 per cent capacity, however, it will only be opened to individuals and kids of all ages without symptoms.
– Museums, galleries and libraries will now accept crowds of not more than 100 individuals.
Updates on activities maintained at Operation Readiness Level 4
– Guidelines for food premises namely restaurants, cafes and food courts remain the same however, commencing next week, food eateries will be able to serve buffets, provided that they are served by the staff of the premises.
– Public transport operators are now allowed to operate at 100 per cent seating capacity compared to the 50 per cent previously. The use of face masks will be mandatory, and bus conductors are advised to not accept passengers exceeding the seating capacity.
Upon the conclusion of his statement, the health minister then reminded the public that they are required to comply with all regulations and directives related to the reduction of social distancing measures.
He emphasised that any individual found to be in violation of any order issued shall be an offense under the Infectious Diseases Act (Section 204) which if found guilty can be issued a compound fine up to $5,000 or can be prosecuted in court carrying a fine up to $10,000 or six months imprisonment or both.
“The ministry will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone who does not comply with the directives issued,” he said.
Practical driving tests
During the press conference, Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib POKSSDP Hj Mohammad Yusof was present to address the lack of driving tests being conducted due to the temporary closure in light of the pandemic.
“This matter has been addressed by the Land Transport Department (LTD), with the increase in the frequency of driving test sessions especially the practical ones that are conducted at the Driving Test Circuit Complex at Kg Sungai Akar,” he said.
He added that scheduling for driving test sessions will return to normal by the end of August or early September.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN