Sign In

COVID-19 business updates: Restaurants, sports facilities, driving schools allowed to operate at 30% of premise capacity

By BizBrunei

The Brunei government has allowed six premises starting May 16 (Saturday) to begin operating in a limited capacity with the use of the BruHealth application in the first de-escalation of coronavirus restrictions.

The six premises are: driving schools, gyms and fitness centres, sports facilities, golf courses, restaurants, cafes and food courts and stalls and markets.

Driving schools, gyms and fitness centres, sports facilities, restaurants, cafes and food courts will be allowed to operate at 30% of their premise capacity.

Dining in at stalls and markets under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) will be limited to 50% of seating capacity.

The easing of restrictions was announced at the daily COVID-19 press conference by the Minister of Health YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Isham Hj Jaafar, who said the coronavirus outbreak has been brought under control.

Six COVID-19 cases are currently being treated, with no new cases reported for a week.

BruHealth application available for download
Second Minister of Finance and Economy and Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah also announced that the BruHealth application was available for both Android and iOS for the public and businesses to register.

BruHealth will provide the government with data effectively trace new cases and their potential spread.

Users are required to routinely fill a self-assessment form on the application – which together with their medical history under Bru-HIMS – generates entry codes to commercial and public premises according to the users’ risk profile.

Green and yellow codes allow access, while users given red, blue and purple codes have to stay within their existing residence.

Owners of business premises – especially those who have had their operations restricted – need to register their business and employees on to receive a QR code that must be displayed at their premise’s entry.

Businesses will also have to ensure their employees use the self-assessment tool on the application to ensure they are fit for duty.

Users must then scan their entry codes to gain access and leave their Bluetooth on for their movement to be recorded accurately. The minister warned that entering incorrect information into the app is an offence under the Infectious Diseases Act.

Specific regulations for six premises
In addition to requiring the six premises to register and use the BruHealth QR code, the government also outlined specific regulations each premise:

Restaurants, cafes and food courts

Eateries are allowed to fill up to 30% of their seating capacity at any period, and must ensure customer seating are spaced out evenly in addition to publicly displaying their seating capacity.

Customers must have their temperature checked before entering and are advised to make reservations in advance. Buffets are not allowed.

Businesses must also offer a takeaway lane and have hand sanitisers for customer use. Cooking staff should also wear face masks while on duty.

Stalls and markets

All stalls and marketplaces under MCYS and MoHA will reopen with the exception of weekly markets including the Tutong Tamu and the weekend tamu in the parking lot of Pasarneka Kuala Belait. The Gerai Ramadhan also remains cancelled.

Stalls and markets must also observe the same guidelines as eateries, with the exception of being able to fill their seated dining capacity up to 50%.

Driving schools

Classroom based lessons for students can only be filled to 30% of seating capacity. Temperature checks will be taken before classes, with those showing signs on infection ordered to stay home. Students are also encouraged to wear face masks.

The Land Transport Department will shortly announce guidelines for driving (practical) classes which typically involve both student and teacher sitting next to each other in a vehicle.

Applications for driving classes and tests will also resume this Saturday.

Gym and fitness centres

Registered members of gyms must book in advance to use facilities for up to an hour at a time. Walk ins are not allowed, and operators must ensure centres are only filled to 30% of capacity at any particular period.

Sporting facilities (indoor and outdoor)

Sporting facilities (indoor and outdoor) can operate up to 30% of capacity for individual use, but users must bring their own equipment. Organized (team) and contact sports activities and the use of swimming pools are not permitted.

Golf courses

Golf courses are only open to registered members, who must book in advance before use. Each flight is limited to two players and each player must use their own buggy and equipment.

For more updates, please go to a dedicated page to covering business news in Brunei relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, backdated to include announcements by BizBrunei since March 12, 2020.