Gradual return to normalcy

Syazwani Hj Rosli

With Brunei Darussalam lifting restrictions slowly and the nation not registering any COVID-19 cases for over two months, more members of the public are seen engaging in outdoor activities.

Parks and beaches saw an increase in people with Bruneians mingling with family and friends enjoying hiking, running, walking, picnics and other recreational activities.

Nasri bin Haji Marzuki, a father of three, seen with his daughters at Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas in the capital said they were feeling more energetic with the restrictions being lifted.

He said they prefer to go to parks or beaches with their children as these places were safe.

“My children cannot be taken to playgrounds or cinemas because they are very young. So we decided to bring them here. They were super excited after the long period they spent indoors. It was nice to see them running around and having fun,” he said.

“There are a lot of people here today but everyone is maintaining social distancing. This is an open area so I think it is safe. With hand sanitisers and washing hands before and after playing, we are good to go,” Nasri added.

ABOVE & BELOW: Nasri bin Haji Marzuki and his children at Taman Mahkota Jubli Emas in the capital; and Md Sharifuddin bin Haji Murah during a hike with his friends. PHOTOS: SYAZWANI HJ ROSLI

Families, runners and hikers were also seen flocking hiking sites across the district as they engaged in recreational activities.

Md Sharifuddin bin Haji Murah told the Bulletin that he and his colleagues have started hiking at Tasek Lama, their favourite walking trail, few times a week since the restrictions were lifted.

“We have been preparing to get back on the trails and it was great to be out, to work out with friends and to be out with nature again. Maintaining physical distancing while in the jungle is quite challenging, especially when you run into people from the opposite directions on narrow pathways. When we are not out, we head to the gym for some workout,” he said.

Although Brunei has seen zero cases for more than two months, Md Sharifuddin advised the public to remain vigilant and follow physical distancing regulations.

Brunei beaches were also seen coming back to life as it received many visitors, especially families with children enjoying the sun and the sand.

Brunei Darussalam entered the third phase of the de-escalation plan on July 1, 2020.