Smiles return with easing of restrictions

Syazwani Hj Rosli

Members of the public yesterday shared their thoughts about the second phase of the de-escalation plan in Brunei Darussalam, which sees certain restrictions being lifted.

The second phase includes an increase in capacity for restaurants and cafes, fitness centres and driving schools (from 30 per cent to 60 per cent); reopening of mosques, suraus and religious halls to perform Friday prayers and the five daily prayers (with congregants required to follow the safety measures in place); 30 per cent capacity for senior citizen activity centres, museums, libraries, Internet cafes and exhibition galleries; and a 75 per cent seating capacity for eateries or markets with outdoor dining spaces.

Zaim bin Munaf, 28, was grateful with the re-opening of mosques, suraus and religious halls to perform the five daily prayers.

“In the past weeks, we were only allowed to perform Friday prayers, but now, Alhamdulillah it is more convenient, especially when we are not home, to perform our prayers at mosques, suraus or religious halls,” he said.

A mother of five, who chose to remain anonymous, was delighted with the reopening of museums and libraries.

“Ever since the restrictions, the children have been spending more time at home. Now, many of us are enjoying the gradual ease of restrictions. We recently visited the Bandarku Ceria, taking our children out after so many weeks of being cooped up at home. Now that the museums and libraries have reopened, we will consider taking them there too. I have never been to the museum, so this may be the time for us to spend time and explore new things together,” she said.

The second phase of the de-escalation plan was announced last Saturday.

Driving schools in Brunei reopened last Monday. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR